Site Archive‎ > ‎Unfair Trial‎ > ‎Pussy Riot‎ > ‎

Senior Deacon Kuraev Outraged by Phrasing of Indictment in ‘Pussy Riot’ Case

Source: HRO.org (info), 08/06/12

· Freedom of conscience  · Freedom of expression  · Moscow city and Moscow region

Senior Deacon Andrei Kuraev has criticised the “vain attempts at theology” by the investigators leading the case against members of the group Pussy Riot. As Kuraev wrote in his LiveJournal blog, by claiming that going onto the church’s solea [the raised floor in front of the altar partition or iconostasis] is blasphemous, the investigation is incorrectly interpreting the Orthodox canon.

“‘They illegally entered the enclosed part of the church designated for holy religious ceremonies, which blasphemously debased the age-old principles and the founding guidelines of the Russian Orthodox Church’. Here the solea and the altar are equated in an off-hand way, which in itself is rather intolerable. And what are these state laws (and they must be state laws, seeing as the state prosecutor is writing about them) which allegedly prohibit access to the solea?” wrote Kuraev, Rosbalt Information Agency reports.

The priest also noted that by using this phrasing the investigation is offending the Russian Orthodox Church. “What kind of morons does this colonel take us for when he writes that the ‘age-old principles and the founding guidelines of the church’ are not the Gospels, but rather a rule he dreamed up preventing lay people approaching the icons on the solea’s iconostasis!” Kuraev fumed.

The feminist group Pussy Riot gained considerable publicity in February 2012 when its members performed a punk-prayer in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Shortly afterwards, three members of the group - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina - were detained.

The young women were eventually charged with a federal offence under Article 213, Section 2 of the Russian Criminal Code (hooliganism committed by a group of persons by prior agreement). The activists have been in detention for two months and may face up to seven years in prison.

Comments