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Feminist band sentenced to 2 years, members defend actions in Russian cathedral

Catholic World News - August 17, 2012

As the verdict in their trial on charges of hooliganism approached, members of the Russian feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot defended their decision to hold an impromptu concert at the altar at an Orthodox cathedral in February.

Shocking worshippers, they sang, “Mother Mary, please drive Putin away,” and said that the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church believed in Russian leader Vladimir Putin rather than God.

“Our goal was to bring attention to [Patriarch] Kirill's public statements that the Orthodox must vote for Putin,” said one band member. “I thought the Church loved its children," she added. “It turns out the Church only loves those children who believe in Putin.”

After the three women were found guilty of "hooliganism" at their trial, a judge sentenced them to 2 years in prison. Prosecutors had asked for 3-year terms.

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