September 5, 2009

Russian Seminary Students Required to Reveal All Information on Social Networking Sites

At the entrance exams of St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, applicants were forced to open their data in their social networks to the selection committee.

All personal data was reviewed by members of the selection committee. Information was gathered on which "groups" the prospective student participated, whether there are [undesirable] "friends", etc. Personal correspondence and comments to groups were opened as well.

It is possible that the actions of the students of theological schools in the social networks [are] already being monitored by the Inspectorate and relevant authorities.


St. Petersburg Theological Academy and Seminary is known for its free-thinking among students. Not long ago a group of seminary school students tried to prevent the ordination of one of their classmates. They sang "Anaxios" (Unworthy) instead of «Axios» (Worthy). By canonical rules [the ordaining] bishop had to halt the rite. But he did not!

All who participated in the "conspiracy" were expelled from the seminary.