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You're reading: Russian Orthodox church forgives Pussy Riot

Two top clerics in the Russian Orthodox Church say it has forgiven the members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot who were convicted of hooliganism and sent to prison for briefly taking over a cathedral in a raucous prayer for deliverance from Vladimir Putin.

Tikhon Shevkunov, who
heads Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery and is widely believed to be Putin’s
spiritual counselor, said on state TV Saturday that his church forgave
the singers right after their “punk prayer” in the Christ the Savior
Cathedral in Moscow.

Archpriest Maxim Kozlov agreed, but he also
said on state TV that his church hopes the young women and their
supporters “realize that their acts are awful.”

Both clerics supported a court’s decision to prosecute Pussy Riot, despite an international outcry that criticized it as unfair.

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