31 July 2012, 10:01
Church employee says Pussy Riot show has given her "unceasing pain"
Moscow, July 31, Interfax - A woman who sells candles in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior has said that February's performance of the Pussy Riot feminist punk rock band inside the church caused her "unceasing pain," and has claimed to be an injured party in the performers' current trial.
Lyubov Sokologorskaya told Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court on Monday that the performance by three women members of the band, which was part of a protest movement against Vladimir Putin's bid for president of Russia, "looked like a lot of demonic jerking."
Sokologorskaya said the three young women, who are charged with "hooliganism" and have been in jail since March, arrived at the cathedral around 11 a.m. on February 21 and asked where candles were to be placed and what could be the reason for putting them there.
"After being given explanations, they suddenly pushed the door open and ran onto the ambo [elevation in front of the altar]," Sokologorskaya said. The performers pushed the reliquary with the Seamless Robe of Jesus aside and flung bags and rucksacks on the floor.
"I was mortified and felt pain, and I still feel it," Sokologorskaya said.
She said she had tried to stop the young women but that they pushed her aside.
"From the standpoint of church canons, a woman has no right to climb on the ambo except during a wedding ceremony. Even I, though I'm a member of staff, bypass the ambo when I'm at work," Sokologorskaya said.
She said that, having got onto the ambo, the Pussy Riot performers took off some of their clothes until they were wearing something that was unacceptably scanty and bright.
Immediately thereafter, they began to jump about and scream, Sokologorskaya said. "All that looked like a lot of demonic jerking. They were throwing their legs up, and everything that was below the waist was visible. And all that on the ambo, in front of the Royal Doors!"
"It's an unceasing pain. All that was sacred to me was desecrated - my feelings, my faith, my ideals!" Sokologorskaya said.
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