Priest Who Backed Pussy Riot Suspended in Russia
A Russian priest who apologized for the actions of Orthodox activists against the Pussy Riot feminist punk group has been expelled from the Russian Orthodox Church.
However, a church spokesperson has claimed that the decision was "unrelated" to the priest's comments. The spokesperson, Father Nikolai Balashikhinsky, told RIA Novosti that Sverdlov's suspension was in "no way connected" to his statements on Pussy Riot.
Sverdlov sparked controversy when he apologized for the actions of Orthodox activists opposed to Pussy Riot in a March 18, 2012, article in the Orthodox Christianity and the World online publication.
"I would ask for forgiveness from the detained for the rabid hatred shown by a section of the Orthodox community over the events in Christ the Savior Cathedral," Sverdlov wrote.
Meanwhile, it was made clear that a Russian court has rejected a plea from a jailed member of Pussy Riot to have her prison term deferred until her young son reaches adolescence.
Maria Alyokhina, 24, mother of five-year-old Filipp, had asked for her two-year sentence to be delayed until her son turns 14, as allowed under Russian law.
- » Lavrov, Kerry Discuss Minsk Ceasefire, Nemtsov’s Murder
- » Los Angeles Police Shot Homeless Man
- » Iraq Launches Offensive Against IS to Recapture Tikrit
- » Estonia’s Ruling Reform Party Wins General Elections
- » Estonia Votes in General Election Overshadowed by Fears over Russia
- » Tens of Thousands March in Moscow to Honour Murdered Boris Nemtsov