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Religion News Current News Items
Protest in church most sensational religious news
BELIEVERS OF CHRISTIAN CONFESSIONS ASK PATRIARCH TO REQUEST CLOSING
"PUSSY RIOT" CASE
14 March 2012
On 6 March 2012 an open letter of believers to Patriarch Kirill was
published, which contained a request that he petition for closing the
criminal case regarding the "Pussy Riot" group.
The text says: "We, the authors of this letter, are believing
people. The majority of us consider such conduct in a church
impermissible. But we consider yet more impermissible the reaction to
the events that occurred, criminal prosecution and imprisonment, as
well as the harsh outcries against participants in the 'punk prayer' by
members of the Orthodox church. . . . Your Holiness, we ask you to
manifest a Christian attitude toward members of the 'Pussy Riot' group
and petition the court for closing this criminal case."
The author of the letter is the manager of a children's program, the
"Vera" Foundation for Hospice Aid, a parishioner of a Moscow church,
Lidia Moniava. In two days, more than 1,500 people signed the letter,
including Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and protestants.
On 7 March 2012 Vladimir Legoida [spokesman for Moscow
patriarchate—tr.] commented on the letter. In his opinion, this text
"gives evidence that a part of society has formed the false opinion
that allegedly the hooligan girls are being detained under guard at the
insistence of the church." He is convinced that the actions of
"Pussy Riot" in the church of Christ the Savior "are not an innocent
prank and they have nothing to do with either freedom of speech, or
human rights, or an other democratic values."
On 12 March 2012 the letter was delivered to the chancellery of the
Moscow patriarchate. By this time it had been signed by 5,739 persons,
of whom about 2,000 are Orthodox persons (23 clerics, church
choristers, icon painters, restorers, choir directors, and other
believers). (tr. by PDS, posted 14 March 2012)
COURT LEAVES "PUSSY RIOT" MEMBERS IN CUSTODY
14 March 2012
A Moscow city court left in custody "Pussy Riot" members Nadezhda
Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, who were arrested for a hooligan
action in the church of Christ the Savior. As an Interfax correspondent
reported, the judicial college thereby turned down the appeal of their
attorneys in which they asked that the arrest be ruled illegal and
N. Tolokonnikova's attorney, Nikolai Polozov, declared at the
session that it is not necessary to apply to his client such an
exceptional measure of punishment as detention. He thinks that the
Taganka court judge ignored the fact that N. Tolokonnikova is the
mother of a young child who needs "her attention every minute."
N. Polozov also expressed the opinion that the judge had a personal
dislike for N. Tolokonnikova. The attorney told how the girl
participated in an action in support of the organizers of the
"Forbidden art" exhibit who were tried in the Taganka court last year.
"At the time of sentencing, my client along with other young people
brought cockroaches to the court and released them in the hallways of
the building, calling the action a 'Cockroach court,'" he said. In N.
Polozov's opinion, the judge remembered his client "and could well be
offended at her and therefore could not make an objective decision."
In court the prosecutor requested that the measure of punishment of N.
Tolokonnikova be left without change, since in his opinion the Taganka
court's decision was legal and correct. "She does not reside at her
place of permanent registration in Norilsk and she has a social card
from Canada, to which she could at any moment depart, and this means
that she could escape the investigation," the prosecutor explained.
As the press secretary of the Moscow city court, Anna Usacheva, told
reporters, the judicial college that rendered the decision acted on the
fact that both women are accused of committing a crime for which the
established punishment is a term of more than two years. "In
addition, the crime was committed by a group of persons and the other
participants have still not been identified," A. Usacheva explained.
She said that investigators have presented to the court information
that M. Alekhina, after committing the crime, changed her place of
residence, thereby hiding from the investigation agents.
Thus the judicial college of the Moscow city court found the decision
of the Taganka court of Moscow regarding detention of N. Tolokonnikova
and M. Alekhina to be correct. (tr. by PDS, posted 14 March 2012)
HOW TO DEAL WITH "PUSSY RIOT"
Representatives of various religions on crime and punishment
By Viktoriia Riakhoreva
Afisha, 14 March 2012
"Afisha" asked an archdeacon of the Orthodox church, a Catholic father,
an imam of a Moscow mosque, and a Krishna leader to comment on the
sensational case surrounding the "Pussy Riot" activists, who face up to
seven years for a hooligan art action in the church of Christ the
On 6 March, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, two girls of the
"Pussy Riot" group, were arrested. At the end of February they
performed a "punk prayer" before the altar of the church of Christ the
Savior. This was a production that included the phrases "Holy crap" and
"Mother of God, drive Putin away." Tolokonnikova and Alekhina have
denied participating in the performance at the altar, and although they
have housework to do (both have young children) they are being held in
custody until 24 April. A criminal case against them has been opened on
the "hooliganism" article, and theoretically for a not very clever art
trick they face up to seven years. A representitive of RPTs, Vladimir
Legoida, chided the girls, stating that "Pussy Riot" is even worse than
the bolsheviks, but he made it clear that he does not see a reason for
their detention. Yesterday bloggers published a letter to the patriarch
in which they ask for Tolokonnikova and Alekhina's release, and now
there are already more than 5000 signatures on it. Today a prayer
service was held in the church of Christ the Savior in support of the
girls in custody, and near the building at Petrovka, 38, a one-man
demonstration in their defense was begun. It is possible to sign a
petition for their release there.
What do representatives of various confessions think about this?
Andrei Kuraev, Archdeacon of the Russian Orthodox Church and cleric of
the church of the Archangel Michael in Troparevo
"I think that people are detained so that they will always be available
and cannot depart somewhere. This is not so much a measure of
punishment of actions committed by the suspects as a means of
prevention of aggression by some extremely excited Orthodox activists,
who in thousands of voices have cried out that they would deal
physically with these girls. Their photographs and home address have
already begun circulating about the Internet, and thus it seems to me
that here a normal government has only two choices—either provide the
girls state protection or resettle them in a place secured by the
state. And it is the second that has occurred. That is, we are not
talking here about punishment but prevention of a lynching. It has
often happened in Russia that the alternative to a state trial was not
forgiveness but a vigilante mob. For example, when at the end of the
19th century criminal penalties for witchcraft in the Russian empire
were repealed, then throughout the country there arose a wave of
popular reprisals against those women whom Christians suspected of
witchcraft. I cannot prejudge the course of a trial, but it is quite
possible that in the debate it would become clear that these particular
people had nothing to do with this prank. As far as I know, they are
now denying their participation and, perhaps, they will be able to
prove it. I have a negative attitude toward this protest, but I think
that the church should strictly remain in the position of a victim and
not in the position of an avenger."
Renat Aliautdinov, Imam of Moscow Memorial Mosque
"Their goals and motives are not completely clear to me. What did they
gain by offending believers' feelings? It seems that the girls were
drunk and out of control of themselves, and their action can be called
pure hooliganism. For this reason we should ask the question about the
moral education of youth. Hooliganism should be punished. If they had
committed hooliganism on the street, that would be one thing, but
offending the feelings of believers is another. Any temple is not an
ordinary place but a place where people are enlightened and receive the
foundations of their moral values. But the girls challenged all that is
good and creative. We Russians should understand that the values of our
nation, which are shown in the Old Testament and Quran, are one and the
same and we should protect them. Of course, such an action could not
happen in a Muslim mosque, since they would simply be too frightened.
There are few Muslim mosques in Moscow and every day in every one of
them five services are performed where there always are at least 150
persons. Thus round the clock the mosque is busy and surrounded by
people—not just old women but also young men. In general, temples
should be protected by police, but still the church is a structure
forming a state."
Kirill Gorbunov, Director of the Information Service of the Roman
Catholic archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow
"I have a negative attitude toward this action because it is very
crude. It is clear that the girls could have been sick at heart, but
there are things that are not very appropriate in any place, and in a
church they are blatantly obscene. I do not doubt that they really had
the intent to seriously offend both the church and believing people.
However I think that they should be punished proportionately to what
happened, which still is petty hooliganism. Hooliganism can be
offensive, sometimes even more offensive than, for example, theft. But
this does not mean that it is necessary to whip someone for it, much
less, reap vengeance. In my view there is no need to isolate these
girls from society and somehow persecute them. And there is no need to
keep them in custody until 24 April. I can talk about the experience of
the Catholic church, which now throughout the world is facing such
actions. Some places they have a more or less socially acceptable
character—that is people just come into a church and begin shouting
slogans, displaying banners, and interrupting the service. In other
places they have a more threatening character—for example in Rome
activists of the Occupy Wall Street movement broke into a church and
smashed a statue of the Theotokos, actually desecrating the church.
There are also more threatening things that are happening in Asia, in
the Near East, in Africa, where churches are broken into in order
to beat up Christians. In every case it depends on the specific
approach how they are handled and what kind of juridical consequences
they have. If we are talking about petty hooliganism, often the
decision is to forgive. But the main thing the church says is that
everything that happens should lead to dialogue. When someone is not
trying to offend the church or make it an object of scorn, it is
necessary to talk with these people, because protecting the church from
such things is not persecution of these people. It is necessary that in
society the church be treated as a sacred place where such things are
impermissible in principle. Where any person has the right to expect
respect, understanding and forgiveness. And it is through the attempt
at mutual understanding that this is possible. If one tries to solve
the problem through prosecution, with the passion of legal wrath, this
will lead to the opposite result."
Mahabharata das Adkhikari, Priest of the Moscow temple Sri Sri Daial
Nitai Shachisuta Mandir
"The 'Pussy Riot' action is one of the most sensational news of several
days back. In the age of the Internet, such news spreads much more
quickly than something that is good and worthy. A lively debate is
going on in church circles and among the secular intelligentsia. These
opinions are multipolar: some demand harsh resistance to such
situations and others offer liberal approaches. From the point of view
of the Vishu philosophy, based on sacred shastras and scriptures,
temples are places for the worship of God and altars are places for
bowing to God. A neglectful attitude toward such sacred things, whether
it be an Orthodox church, Catholic cathedral, synagogue, or Hindu
Mandir, is a sign of the demonic or sore crisis of human civilization.
I understand the feeling of believers who were in the church at the
time and the feelings of the clergy of the church who had to view this
insult. The conduct of these girls is extremely unpleasant to me. I am
completely unconvinced by the arguments that this is supposedly the
manifestation of some useful critical view of the world and that the
girls supposedly did not wish to offend anybody, or that this is the
way they were brought up, or that this is some original way to express
their love for the Lord.
"What is so special about 'Pussy Riot'? Who are they really to consider
themselves appropriate judges? If one needs to express his criticism of
someone or something, then do it so as not to hurt the feelings of
others. Then they will understand you and you will not offend anyone.
And if you express to the Lord some desire, why turn it into some kind
of political show? Punishment? Indeed they already have been severely
punished by having such a relationship to God. Perhaps their
shame has still not been shown and has still not burned them. But the
bravado will necessarily evaporate with time and their relationship to
God will change. I would not prosecute them strictly. They need to be
weaned from such pranks by instruction. On the other hand, the state is
obliged to protect the feelings of believing people regardless of their
confessional affiliation." (tr. by PDS, posted 14 March 2012)
Russian original posted on Portal-credo.ru
site, 14 March 2012
SCUFFLE OCCURS OUTSIDE MOSCOW CITY COURT AFTER ORTHODOX PERSON
SPRINKLED HOLY WATER ON "PUSSY RIOT" SUPPORTER
14 March 2012
An attempt to sprinkle hold water on one of the defenders of the "Pussy
Riot" punk group led to a scuffle near the building of the Moscow city
"An Orthodox missionary, Andrei Kaplin, sprinkled baptismal water on
one of the female supporters of 'Pussy Riot.' In response she began
some kind of madness; she began waving her arms and throwing something
on surrounding people," one of the participants in a picket organized
outside the court building, who is a member of the Council of Orthodox
Public Associations of the synodal Department for Relations of Church
and Society, Dmitrii Pakhomov, told an Interfax-Religiia
correspondent. He said that at that moment an outsider, who was
not participating in the demonstration, walked past the opponents of
"Pussy Riot" who had assembled near the courthouse and the girl who had
been sprinkled with holy water pounced on him. The director of youth
projects of the Congress of Russian Societies, Alexander Bosykh, who
was participating on the side of the punk group's opponents,
intervened. He tried to stop the activist. As a result, police arrested
both A. Bosykh and this girl and took them to the Preobrazhenskii
Department of Internal Affairs.
As D. Pakhomov noted, he and other Orthodox activists went to the
police station, where they gave their evidence. Representatives of the
opposite "camp" also gathered there. "One of the supporters of 'Pussy
Riot' began a scuffle in the police station and started insulting
police officers and he was taken away," the news agency's source said.
Today in Moscow city court there was a review of the question of the
arrest of two group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina,
who are suspected of conducting a hooligan action in the church of
Christ the Savior. Supporters of the action and their opponents
gathered at the building. The court found the arrest of the two to be
legal. (tr. by PDS, posted 14 March 2012)
Religion News Current News Items
Debate over punishment of church demonstrators
RUSSIAN SENATORS ADVOCATE PUNISHMENT OF PARTICIPANTS OF "PUSSY RIOT"
13 March 2012
Federation Council member Mikhail Kapura called for the prosecution of
members of the punk group "Pussy Riot," who staged a performance in the
church of Christ the Savior, but he noted that secular events also are
conducted in the church and this also could be the occasion for action.
"These actions are pure hooliganism, and therefore they should be
punished. Otherwise we will be turned into a country where anarchy
reigns," M. Kapura told Interfax; he is a member of the Committee on
Legal and Judicial Matters of the upper house of parliament.
Along with this he added that the measure of punishment should be
determined by the extent to which these girls themselves understand
internally what they have done. "At the same I am not calling for
putting them up against the wall or sending them to Kolyma. But the
measure of punishment should be proportionate to what they did," M.
However he called attention to what, in his words, people prefer not to
talk about. "The point is that the church of Christ the Savior nowadays
has been turned into a kind of secular institution, where various kinds
of banquets, conferences, organizing congresses, and the like are
conducted," he explained.
In the senator's opinion, members of the action knew very well that
secular events are constantly being held in the church. "This is the
other side of the coin, about which little is said. And it is this kind
of event in the church, along with others, that provoked such
aggressive behavior on the part of these girls," he thinks.
Another senator, vice-chairman of the Committee on International
Affairs, Valerii Shniakin, told Interfax that he is surprised by the
position of ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, who came to the defense of the
feminists. "In this case such a position as Mr. Lukin's evokes extreme
amazement, since we are talking about hooligan pranks and about the
offense and abuse of believers' feelings," he stressed.
In V. Shniakin's opinion, if these girls are not punished, it will
serve as a "dire example," and it will certainly lead to such "crazy
girls" beginning to act in such a way in other churches. He said it was
strange that only girls were arrested and those who arranged this
action remain outside the field of vision of law enforcement agencies.
"It is obvious that this action was well planned, and the film was
professionally done. The question remains of who is behind all of
this," the agency's interlocutor said. (tr. by PDS, posted 13 March
PROFESSORS OF MOSCOW ECCLESIASTICAL ACADEMY DISOWN POSITION OF
ARCHDEACON KURAEV ABOUT "PUSSY RIOT"
12 March 2012
The assessment of Moscow Ecclesiastical Academy [MDA] Professor
Archdeacon Andrei Kuraev of the scandalous action of the "Pussy Riot"
group in the church of Christ the Savior did not find support among his
As was stated in a resolution of the Academic Council of the academy as
a result of its session on Monday, the Professorial and Pedagogical
Corporation of MDA is unanimous in the opinion that this action "is
sacrilege and a violation of the feelings of believing Christians."
"While not calling for vigilante justice and revenge, we cannot agree
with the initial hasty judgment by Archdeacon Andrei Kuraev of this
outrageous action as normal and acceptable," the document, which was
released by the press service of the academic institution, says.
At the session of the Academic Council, Father Andrei himself spoke and
described "the reasons that prompted him to issue a number of hasty
comments without adequate information."
"While taking into account the true intentions of Archdeacon Andrei
Kuraev to ward off possible extreme aggressive reaction, we remind him
in a brotherly fashion that the title of professor of Moscow
Ecclesiastical Academy imposes a high responsibility for the form and
content of public statements, since on the basis of them both the
academic institution and the whole church are judged," the resolution
On 21 February the feminist punk group "Pussy Riot" staged a
performance at the entrance to the altar of the church of Christ the
Savior. Participants in the protest reported that their performance was
a "punk prayer." A criminal case under the "hooliganism" article was
initiated. Recently three members of the group were detained and two of
them were held under arrest. They declared a hunger strike in protest.
A Moscow city court will review the appeal of the arrest on Wednesday.
Immediately after the incident, Archdeacon A. Kuraev told
Interfax-Religiia that there were mitigating circumstances surrounding
the girls' behavior and it should be taken into account that this
happened at the time of the celebration of Maslenitsa and "this is a
time when, according to the canons of Orthodox and ancient Russian
culture, the norms are violated and the social cosmos is upset; a
person dresses like a beast and animals are dressed in human clothing,
a peasant like a tsar and a drunkard like a priest, and so forth."
Archdeacon Kuraev wrote in his [blog?] that he would feed the members
of the group pancakes in the sacristy and give them a cup of mead and
invite them to come again to the ritual of forgiveness. Later in a
conversation with youth, Father Andrei explained that "to feed a bit
and talk a bit is our only reaction, which they did not count on, but
it is the one that could be successful." In his opinion, if Orthodox
people would conduct themselves just that way, they would have the
right "to ask God for the miracle of softening these hearts." (tr. by
PDS, posted 13 March 2012)
LEADER OF "YABLOKO" ASKS CHURCH TO FORGIVE "PRODIGAL CHILDREN" FROM
13 March 2012
The leader of the "Yabloko" [party], Sergei Mitrokhin, has called
Patriarch Kirill to act mercifully toward members of the "Pussy Riot"
group, who staged a hooligan action in the church of Christ the Savior.
"I call Patriarch Kirill to suggest to law enforcement agencies mercy
for these prodigal children," S. Mitrokhin said. In his opinion, the
church should forgive the girls for their hooligan act. He suggested
punishing the girls in the form of a fine.
"Christianity teaches to forgive, and therefore the church should
display Christian mercy here and forgive these girls. In their turn,
law enforcement agencies could assign them a fine for hooliganism. This
would be the better measure," the oppositionist emphasized. . . . (tr.
by PDS, posted 13 March 2012)
FAMOUS MUSLIM ATTORNEY THINKS "PUSSY RIOT"MEMBERS NEED PSYCHIATRY NOT
13 March 2012
A famous Muslim attorney, Dagir Khasavov, thinks that members of the
feminist punk group "Pussy Riot" do not need to be tried but to be
"If one looks through the prism of the Holy Quran, it is impossible to
call the action of this group a good deed; they are considered fallen,
sick in the head, and irresponsible," D. Khasavov told
Speaking of how the members of the group would be treated if they had
desecrated a mosque and were tried in accordance with shariah law, he
recalled that both in accordance with Islamic jurisprudence and in
accordance with secular jurisprudence, "it is impossible to judge
psychiatrically ill people and their action is not considered sinful
because this is a condition of their spirit."
"An insane person, with a distorted intellect and consciousness cannot
rightly control himself and behave appropriately, respecting the faith
and the sanctity of temples. This is a manifestation of a lack of a
culture of conduct in society and evidence of the clouding of reason as
well as moral degradation," the attorney declared.
He also considers what happened as "the worst manifestation of the
underground culture in an immoral society of consumerism and
obscurantism, which is supported by a part of society and aims for the
unbounded freedom of the individual."
In conclusion, the agency's interlocutor expressed the opinion that
this incident "is another convincing evidence that the question of the
creation in Russia of ecclesiastical (for Muslims, shariah) courts and
their incorporation into the system of appellate courts is more than
Previously D. Khasavov told the news agency that he plans to establish
a nationwide Russian rights advocacy center, "The Muslim Union," which
will engage, inter alia, in establishing in the country shariah courts
with appellate status, recalling that in prerevolutionary Russia there
existed courts for religious matters. . . . (tr. by PDS, posted 13
Religion News Current News Items
Political opposition in Moscow backs punk
"PUSSY RIOT" DOES NOT CONFESS OR REPENT
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin: "Orthodox Christians challenged;
challenge boorish, arrogant, aggressive"
by Vladislav Maltsev
Nezavisimaia gazeta, 12 March 2012
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has called believers "to demand of the
state" exemplary punishment of "pussy cats," and leaders of the street
opposition have expressed support of girls suspected of a provocation
in the church of Christ the Savior.
Attorney Nikolai Polozov, who is defending Maria Alekhina (she and
another participant in "Pussy Riot," Nadezhda Tolokonikova, were
arrested last week by decision of the Taganka court), explained to "NG"
yesterday that at the present time "the girls are using article 51
(article 51 of the Russian constitution permits one not to give
evidence against one's self—NG) and they are not confirming nor
denying what happened there, but they are simply refusing to give
evidence," while, according to him, in court "the investigation has not
produced any evidence that they participated in the events in the
church of Christ the Savior."
Polozov reported that he himself and Tolokonnikova's attorney, Violetta
Volkova, think "the case is politically motivated." "In the first
place, Vladimir Putin personally expressed this when he asked of all
Orthodox Christians for forgiveness, and in the second place the
activity of the group 'Pussy Riot' also had political overtones and
their songs mentioned Putin in a negative context," the attorney said.
"Thus I do not rule out that the efforts that law enforcement agencies
have thrown into this case—an investigative brigade is working on it
and the girls were arrested by around 20 agents—this is not the
investigation of an ordinary criminal case, let alone just
hooliganism—political will is driving them," Polozov thinks. The
attorney says that he has still not received information from the court
about a date for the next session of the court on this case, but in
accordance with procedural norms it should be held at the beginning of
The attorneys for the arrested girls appeared among the speakers at the
10 March opposition rally on New Arbat. "Girls sang 'Mother of God,
drive Putin away,' and Putin was offended at them." "Free the
political prisoners" declared Polozov under the rally's banner. Two
days earlier, in front of the building of the Chief Directorate of MVD
for Moscow (Petrovka, 38) there was a series of solo pickets in support
of the "Pussy Riot" participants. Photo reporters identified among the
picketers Aleksei Navalny and one of the leaders of the unregistered
PARNAS, Boris Nemtsov. In addition, one of the attorneys of Nadezhda
Tolokonnikova is a member of the policy council of the "Solidarnost"
movement, Mark Feigin. Tolokonnikova is a well known opposition
activist (she was previously an active participant in the "Voina" art
group), and she addressed the rally on Bolotnaia Square on 10 December
In turn, on 9 March the head of the synodal Department for Relations of
Church and Society of the Moscow patriarchate, Archpriest Vsevolod
Chaplin, stated his position in the "Pravoslavnaia politika" collective
blog. He said, "We Orthodox Christians have been challenged; the
challenge is boorish, arrogant, and aggressive." "Challenging dances
and songs were staged on the sacred pulpit of the church. No kind of
repentance has yet been heard, neither from the 'protest' participants
themselves nor from their supporters and defenders. In such conditions
the Orthodox Christian must protect his sacred items. Protect them by
all legal means, that is, condemn blasphemy and demand of the
government that it do its job," Archpriest Chaplin wrote, adding that
"the church does not intend to yield to the pressure of an aggressive
group calling now for mercy." (tr. by PDS, posted 12 March 2012)
Russian original posted on Interfax-Religiia
site, 12 March 2012
PUTIN APOLOGIZES TO BELIEVERS FOR PARTICIPANTS IN "PUNK PRAYER" IN
CHURCH OF CHRIST THE SAVIOR
7 March 2012
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin issued his apologies to believers
for the protest that was conducted in the church of Christ the Savior
by participants of the "Pussy Riot" group. Responding to an "Interfax"
question he noted that he was not aware of what these girls did.
"But if they violated the law, I apologize to both clergy and
believers, said V. Putin, who on Wednesday spoke with reporters of the
government pool, congratulating its feminine portion for the upcoming
holiday. "I give my apologies to all believers and clergy for them if
they have not been able to do so themselves. I hope that this will not
be repeated any more," V. Putin added.
On 21 February the feminist punk band "Pussy Riot" staged a performance
at the entrance to the altar of the church of Christ the Savior.
Participants in the protest stated that their performance was a "punk
prayer." When church security tried to arrest them, they fled. A
criminal case was begun on the "hooliganism" article. Maximum penalty
for this article is imprisonment of up to two years.
A few days ago three participants of the band were detained. One of
them, along with an activist of the "Voina" art group, Peter Verzilov,
was released after questioning with a summons to appear before an
investigator on 6 March. Two others, Maria Alekhina and Nedezhda
Tolokonnikova, were arrested by the court. They declared a hunger
strike in protest. (tr. by PDS, posted 12 March 2012)
Religion News Current News Items
Ukrainian metropolitan maintains visibility
METROPOLITAN VLADIMIR IDENTIFIES CAUSE OF SECULAR AND ECCLESIASTICAL
12 March 2012
The primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Vladimir,
thanked believers for prayers for his recovery and he explained the
situation in current inter-church relations in Ukraine. He did this in
an interview with the "Era" television channel.
"The church helps everybody and wishes for all to come to the truth,
but the question that divides us remains. Relations with the so-called
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev patriarchate) are very strained because
a rupture occurred. I would not wish to go deeply into the political
details, but politics cannot be far away from us—we must understand
them," Metropolitan Vladimir explained.
The metropolitan also told how UPTs has tried several times to hold a
meeting with UPTsKP, in order "to hasten the time of mutual
understanding," but these meetings did not have an effective result.
"We shall hope that in the near future that people of the same faith
and the same blood will understand the essence—the goals and tasks on
this sinful earth—of the church thoroughly," Metropolitan Vladimir
To the question why nowadays friends so frequently betray one another,
not only in secular but also in church circles, the metropolitan
answered that "this is the nature of sin that hangs over the world and
with which each Christian must fight." Because Christ said:
"Everybody says that they love me or one another, but the reality is
quite the opposite to this statement," Metroolitan Vladimir
noted. (tr. by PDS, posted 12 March 2012)
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