Intolerance: four crosses attacked with chainsaw in two Russian regions

Moscow (AsiaNews)
- Four wooden crosses were sawn in half and torn down in two different regions
of Russia, stoking controversy about the respect for the values ​​and religious
symbols, after the scandal caused by the international condemnation of Pussy
Riot. The
Russian Orthodox Church has demanded justice for the attacks that occurred in
the regions of Chelyabinsk and Arkhangelsk in the night between 24 and 25
August last, two weeks after the Ukrainian feminist group Femen used a chain
saw on a cross in Kyiv. The
action was a protest against the sentence to two years imprisonment for the
members of the Pussy Riot punk band for staging an anti-Putin performance in the
cathedral of Moscow, in a trial which, according to many, was instigated by the
Kremlin in agreement with the Russian Patriarchate Orthodox.

an interview with Echo of Moscow
radio, Anna Shevchenko, a member of Femen, supported attacks on religious symbols
in Russia and invited people to continue, while also claiming that the  Ukrainian feminist group held any liability.

Chaplin - head of the department of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate for
relations with the state and society - has asked the police to find the vandals
and bring them before the law. "These
actions clearly speak of the moral values ​​of those who are attacking the
Church - he told Interfax - with these symbolic actions they are seeking to
impose their will on the majority of the population."

criminal investigation has been opened thus far in either region. The
crime of vandalism carries a sentence of up to three years in prison, recalls
the Moscow Times newspaper.

Patriarchate has found an unexpected ally in Piotr Verzilov, husband of Nadia
Tolokonnikova, the most famous of the three Pussy Riot members in prison. The
activist has condemned the attacks on the crosses and said that the group does
not have anything to do with it.

Orthodox Church in Russia and its leader, Patriarch Kirill, have been the object
of intense criticism and media scandals in recent months, but some experts see
the vandalism against crosses as an attack on the ordinary faithful. This
perhaps because the attacks did not target the symbols of luxury and comfort
for which the Church is criticized, but simple wooden crosses, noted journalist
and commentator on religious issues, Andrei Zolotov.

human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, described the attacks as the work of
"cowards" and demanded an official explanation of these actions.



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The mission of the "FEMEN" movement is to create the most favourable conditions for the young women to join up into a social group with the general idea of the mutual support and social responsibility, helping to reveal the talents of each member of the movement.

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