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Russian feminist band on trial for 'punk prayer'


 - Russian feminist band on trial for 'punk prayer'
Yesterday marked the beginning of the trial for Russian feminist punk band, Pussy Riot.

Hundreds of people packed into the courtroom to see Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, be charged with "hooliganism" driven by "religious hatred.", The Guardian reported.

The three band members were arrested in March after performing  "Mother of God cast Putin out." a song that asks the Virgin Mary to get rid of Putin, on the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour cathedral. 

The song criticizes Putin himself, as well as the role of women within the Russian state, with lyrics like:

"The head of the KGB is their chief saint
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend the Holy
Women have to give birth and to love"


"St. Maria, Virgin, become a feminist
Become a feminist, Become a feminist"

This trial, many say, is an example of the resurgence of religious power of the Orthodox Church, which has grown in influence since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and become a major player in Russian politics. 

The Guardian reported that Patriarch Kirill, head of the Orthodox Church, said that the Church is "under attack by persecutors."

According to the Moscow Times, Ykaterina Samutsevich said that she saw her trial as a an effort by the goverment to spread "feelings of fear among those actively engaging with politics."

The three women have been held since March, and could potentially continue to be held until January of next year.  

Click below to see the video of Pussy Riot's punk prayer. 



Anne Cohen
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