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You're reading: Orthodox Russian deacon stands up for Pussy Riot

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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