Moscow: Following a high number of anti-church posts that have appeared on the internet, Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church has said the church he leads should be present in social networks to tell the "truth".
"Blogs and social networks give us new opportunities for the Christian mission" at a time when the church comes under attack more often than before, the patriarch said.
"Not to be present there means to display our helplessness and lack of care for the salvation of our brothers.
"Now that social media shows a huge interest, although not always a sound one, in church life, our duty is to convert it for a good cause, to create conditions for young people to know about Christ, know the truth about the life of people inside the church," Kirill said.
"When a person makes a query on church life in an internet search engine, he finds a lot of lies, hypocrisy and hatred," he said.
"These are the visible results of activity by the enemy of mankind," he said.
Kirill told priests that their internet mission should complement real communication with parishioners rather than replace it.
Critics have in particular accused some church clergy of being hypocritical and too rich.