Russian Orthodox Church Calls for Mercy on Pussy Riot
Russia's Orthodox Church has called upon the country's authorities to "show mercy" on the three members of Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in jail for an anti-Kremlin protest in Moscow's main cathedral.
"Casting no doubt on the legitimacy of the court's decision, we appeal to the public authorities to show mercy, within the law, on the convicted in the hope they will never repeat such blasphemous actions," the Russian Orthodox Church's High Council said in a statement, as cited by RT.
"We think the words of pity for the convicted which have been coming from the Church's children and other people are natural. It is necessary to divide the sin from sinner and reprimand the first while hoping the latter will improve."
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, were convicted on Friday for staging an anti-Kremlin "punk prayer" in Moscow's landmark Christ the Savior Cathedral.
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and the United States Embassy in Russia have criticized the two-year sentences handed down by the Russian court.
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