President Putin and Patriarch Kirill persecute girl band Pussy Riot – Benjamin Bidder

Vladimir Putin & Patriarch Kirill

Pussy Riot members

Benjaman Bidder“Critics in Russia want to see them ‘burn on a pyre,’ while supporters abroad are calling for their release. As the world awaits next week’s verdict against the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, officials within the Russian Orthodox Church seem to be realizing that the case against the trio was perhaps a mistake.” – Benjamin Bidder

The trial against Moscow guerrilla punk band Pussy Riot is drawing to a close. Following calls from within the Russian Orthodox Church for tough punishment of the punk musicians’ impromptu performance inside Moscow’s main cathedral, Church of Christ the Saviour, prosecutors on Tuesday called for three-year prison sentences for each of the three accused women. Rushed trial proceedings have lasted late into the evenings.

There were allegations in the courtroom that the defendants wore clothing that was “obviously contrary to general church rules.” It was even suggested that the women were practically possessed by the devil, having “twitched and jumped satanically, throwing their legs up, rolling their heads and calling out very insulting and blasphemous words.”

Thanks to the slow summer news cycle, dozens of television teams from around the world have come to report on the grotesque trial at Moscow’s central Khamovniki court.

But it has slowly begun to dawn on both the Russian Orthodox community and the Kremlin that they may have done themselves a disservice with this ruthless and bizarre prosecution of the anti-Putin band members. A tough verdict won’t have the effect of a deterrent, warns Orthodox intellectual and clergyman Andrei Kurayev. On the contrary, the Church is provoking copycat crimes and encouraging a radicalization of the opposition, he says. There has “never been a shortage of young extremists” in Russia, Kurayev adds.

Konstantin Sonin, a columnist for the business newspaper Vedomosti, even spoke of the “worst mistake by the Church since 1901.” That year the Orthodox Church had the elderly writer Leo Tolstoy excommunicated. – Read more at SPIEGEL ONLINE, Moscow, 8 August 2012

Russian opposition members

One Response

  1. Shame, shame on dictatorial Putin and the medieval Patriarch Kirill for condemning the girls to TWO years in prison for their protest prayer to the Virgin Mary in Christ the “Saviour” Cathedral.

    See BBC report at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19302986

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