Ukraine: Kiev cathedral launches prayer and guidance app

Ukrainian church app Image copyright
Image caption Churchgoers can send their prayers straight to a priest

Orthodox Christian Ukrainians in search of spiritual guidance need look no further than their smartphones, after a cathedral in the capital Kiev launched its own prayer app.

The Svyato-Troyitskyy (Holy Trinity) Cathedral in the city's Troyeshchyna district has officially endorsed the iPhone app, dreamt up by Kiev University history student Volodymyr Shemarov, the V Gorode website reports. The 21-year-old says this is the first mobile platform for any church in a former Soviet state. "Young people rarely go to church, preferring to sit at their computers and visit social networks," he says. "I want to pique their interest somehow by integrating the church with mobile technology."

The app lets you "enter a virtual church to pray, seek inner peace and ask a priest for advice", as well as check service times. The priests themselves are actively promoting the app, and even made an announcement about it in church. Shemarov tells the Interfax news agency that he hopes to design apps for as many more churches as possible in order to help believers communicate through mobile technology, the app store MacDigger says.

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.