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Writer Boris Akunin on the Pussy Riot Case

Source: HRO.org (info), 03/04/12 


The writer Boris Akunin in his LiveJournal blog has shared his thoughts and feelings about the case of the members of the punk-music group Pussy Riot.

"My first reaction to the performance at the Cathedral was one of real annoyance. But now I no longer feel like criticising those who took part in this scandal. If they are guilty of anything, then they have already had more than enough punishment. In the whole of this story, to my mind, there are two more serious circumstances. One makes me feel disgust, and the other – perplexity.

I feel disgust because of the servility of our law enforcement and judicial systems that once again have shown a slavish readiness to fulfil the will of their bosses, in spite of the law and common sense. On what grounds, one must ask, have the young women been held in prison and not been released on bail? It would have been interesting to see whether the reaction of the authorities would have been just as cruel if the hooligans had sung their song for Putin, and not against him?

And I feel perplexity because of the irrational behaviour of the Russian Orthodox Church. I shall not say anything about humility and forgiveness, the right cheek and the left cheek. My purpose is not to get involved in religious controversies. I want to say something else. The Church, it seems, very much wants to be threatening and powerful. It wants people not to love it, but to be afraid of it. This doubtless will evoke (and has already evoked) dislike on the part of many believers and undoubtedly undermines respect for the Patriarchate. It seems that the Patriarch, following in Putin’s footsteps, has taken a decision not to take part in any struggle for moral influence over the so-called ‘advanced’ section of society. And this is only half of the problem. Not only has a conflict arisen between the Patriarchate and secular society, but a split within the Church itself can be observed. If the Russian Orthodox Church intends to act in such an aggressive manner in the future, it is quite possible that we shall see an anti-clerical movement under the slogan ‘We’re fed up with the priests!’, or even an atheistic party will appear. In general, I think that we have seen a flood of bitterness on the part of the holy fathers and a weakening of the power of reason on their part.”

(Source: Blog of Boris Akunin)
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