Russian punk band were doing devil's work, says leader of Orthodox church
A feminist punk band who staged an unsanctioned performance in Moscow's principal cathedral were doing the work of the devil, according to the head of the Russian Orthodox church.
Patriarch Kirill said that "the devil laughed at us" when Pussy Riot performed their song Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Expel Putin! in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour less than a fortnight before presidential elections.
Three alleged members of Pussy Riot, who wear colourful balaclavas to hide their identities, have been arrested since the "punk prayer." They remain in prison awaiting trial on hooliganism charges and deny taking part in the 21 February show. All face sentences of up to seven years.
Patriarch Kirill appeared annoyed by calls for leniency. There were people who sought to "justify and downplay this sacrilege", he said. "My heart breaks from bitterness that amongst these people there are those who call themselves Orthodox."
Some members of the Orthodox church initiated an open letter to the patriarch earlier this month, calling on him to "maintain a Christian attitude" and for all criminal charges against the accused to be dropped.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/ma ... ork-kirill