Belarus Christian church leader asks for tighter internet control
Minsk - The spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians in the former Soviet republic Belarus on Friday asked state officials to tighten access to the internet, citing a moral threat to the country's youth.
"The state should control internet content," said Metropolitan Filaret, head of the Orthodox Christian church in Belarus. "I sincerely hope that the government will not leave the problem of open access to dirty resources alone," he said.
"The main threat is that unwholesome information has become available to the most sensitive section of our society - children and teenagers. ... For them, such virtual chaos is extremely dangerous," he added.
Filaret speaking at a gathering of Belarusian church leaders called on the government to block access to unsafe web sites, using enforcement standards and technologies similar to those used by the People's Republic of China.
The Belarusian regime headed by President Aleksander Lukashenko already controls information tightly, permitting only state-run electronic media and systematically repressing the few independent newspapers left in the country.
The internet and foreign radio broadcasts are, for most Belarusians, the only source of independently-produced news and information. (dpa)