Moscow, March 22, Interfax - Representatives of Russia's traditional religions have classified the recent "performance" by the punk group Pussy Riot in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which has drawn a lot of debate in society and among the clergy, as sacrilege.
"What occurred in the main Orthodox church of the country, when a group of women wearing masks and provocative clothes started dancing in front of the pulpit, shouting words that are blasphemous and insulting to Christians, deeply shocked believers in all our religious communities," the Interreligious Council said in a statement adopted in the Moscow Horal Synagogue on Thursday.
The meeting participants reiterated that this act is "not just hooliganism, but their purpose was to cause religious feuds in society."
"We are calling on those who committed that evil act to come to reason and publicly apologize. We are confident that these people's act has hurt the majority of our country's citizens, regardless of their convictions," the document says.
On February 21, the feminist punk group Pussy Riot gave a performance near the entrance to the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The young women said their performance was "a punk prayer." A criminal case was opened on the basis of the Russian Criminal Code article dealing with hooliganism. Three "performers" were later arrested. They will remain under arrest until April 24.
The Pussy Riot "performance" drew broad public response and divided society and the Orthodox public. The administration of the Russian Orthodox Church and a considerable number of believers demanded punishment for the feminists' but many Orthodox believers have called for them to be forgiven.