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MOSCOW, March 22 (Itar-Tass) — Russian religious leaders consider a blasphemous Pussy Riot action at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour as insulting for all believers in the country. They urged members of the Pussy Riot group “to come to senses and make public apologises” in a statement of the Russian Interreligious Council on Thursday.
“We consider it right to condemn this crime seeking to split the society and instigating strife between believers and nonbelievers. All masterminds, accomplices and probable contractors of this offence should be found,” the leaders of all traditional religions of Russia, including Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, said with confidence.
“The group with the indecent name insulted the feelings of believers of any creed, because the offence was committed at the place, where people are praying to the God,” representative of the Federation of Jewish Religious Communities in Russia Andrei Glotser noted. According to him, this was a political action, as “they were seeking to make a cheap political rostrum from the church.” He is convinced that “this puts a shame not only on them, but also their parents.” “Any demonstrations of the kind bring evil and hatred in our affected society,” a representative of the chief rabbi believes.
Meanwhile, Mufti Tagir Samatov, a representative of the Central Muslim Spiritual Directorate, said with confidence that this is “a targeted and well-plotted action.” “The young women were not just playing, several believers saw them, but have made a video for the purpose and posted it for the public in the Internet,” Samatov said.
“This is a challenge to the whole society in general, all believers and nonbelievers. If we do not stop blasphemy this can be continued in other holy places,” a Moscow representative of the Coordination Centre of Muslims of the North Caucasus Shafig Pshikhachev believes. “Some people want to push us (the believers) not just in the trenches, but in common graves,” chairman of the Congress of Jewish Religious Organizations and Unions Zinoviy Kogan elaborated.
“The shrine is desecrated and it is impermissible in the civilized world,” head of the Moscow branch of the Buddhist Sangha in Russia Sanjei Lama concluded.
The Russian Interreligious Council met at the Moscow choral synagogue on Thursday. The council is held on the grounds of traditional religious associations of Russia in turn.
On February 21, the members of the Pussy Riot punk group went up the ambo before the altar, where only clergymen can step up, put on coloured masks and began mocking at the believers. Several minutes later the guards took them out of the church. Shortly after that a song, in which this escapade was presented as ‘a punk prayer’, was posted in the Internet.
The criminal case was opened under Article 213 Part 2 for hooliganism that envisages up to seven years in prison.