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Orthodox Russian deacon stands up for Pussy Riot

Sep. 18, 2012 16:42
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Deacon Sergei Baranov prays in a church in Tambov, Russia, on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. Deacon Sergei Baranov from Tambov became the first Russian Orthodox cleric to have walked out in protest over the church’s treatment of the Pussy Riot case. Baranov, defrocked at his request, told the Associated Press in an interview, that he supports the band’s stunt and does not regret his resignation.
Photo by AP

TAMBOV, Russia — A small-town cleric in Russia who has been defrocked for his support of the Pussy Riot protest band says they have exposed "the ills and blisters of society."

The feminist band staged an impromptu performance against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral in February, outraging many Orthodox believers. Three members of the band were sentenced to two years in jail on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. The trial has been seen as the Kremlin's political revenge.

Deacon Sergei Baranov from Tambov became the first Russian Orthodox cleric to have walked out in protest over the church's treatment of the Pussy Riot case.

Baranov, defrocked at his request, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he supports the band's stunt and does not regret his resignation.

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