» 09/17/2012 RUSSIA Crosses torn down and Pussy Riot slogans on a church in Georgia by Nina Achmatova Episodes of intolerance continue in the wake of sentencing of the Russian feminist punk band. Orthodox Church debate whether this is due to a anti-clerical campaign or break down in relationship with society.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - Crosses torn down in Russia and graffiti on the walls of churches in Georgia. Anti-clerical
acts continue to be carried out demanding the release of Pussy Riot, the
feminist punk band whose three members were sentenced to two years in prison
for having staged an anti-Putin performance in the Moscow cathedral. After
four wood crosses cut and torn down in late August on the regions of Chelyabinsk and Arkhangelsk,
two other crosses have been torn down in the district of Pervomaisk, Altai
region, September 5. As
reported by the religious information website, Portalcredo.ru, on September 10 an
investigation was opened into acts of "hooliganism" (article 214 of
the Criminal Code). According
to investigators, those held responsible have already been identified.
of this kind have increased in Russia
after August 17, the day of the conviction of Pussy Riot - guilty of
"hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" . Ukrainian feminist
group Femen protested against the verdict cutting a cross in Kiev with a chainsaw.
The phenomenon is
not confined to Russia.
Tbilisi, Georgia, a group of citizens called
on the authorities to shed light on writing that appeared on the outer walls of
the Kashveti Orthodox Church in the center of the Georgian capital. According
to reports from the site Pravmir.ru, close to the caricature of an icon "Free
Pussy Riot" was written in large letters, the slogan of the international
campaign in support of the Russian band.
Within the Russian Orthodox Church, the debate on the issue is tense: some
argue that the acts represent a real campaign against faith, that first began after
the arrival in Russia from Mount Athos of the relic of the belt of the Virgin last
relic attracted more than two
million pilgrims from across the country, frightening some circles who
realized the strong appeal that Christianity still exerts on the Russian
people, despite decades of persecution. Others,
however, note that this is the time to address a critical issue and so far
avoided by the Orthodox Church in Russia: that of its relationship
with a secular society.