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Russian Orthodox Church to Pussy Riot: Repent for 'punk prayer' and Ye (Should) Be Saved

In turnaround, Russia's religious authorities urge qualified clemency for Pussy Riot.

Pussy riot in barsEnlarge
Members of the all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot,' Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (C), Maria Alyokhina (R) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (L), sit behind bars during a court hearing in Moscow on July 20, 2012. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images)

The Russian Orthodox Church today changed their tune on the ungodly Pussy Riot protest band by urging clemency for the three jailed band members provided they repent for their "punk prayer," reported The Associated Press

The rockers had called on "Mother Mary" -- the mother of Jesus Christ -- to "drive Putin out," referring to again-President Vladimir Putin's hardline rule, according to Russia's RIA Novosti.

The stunt, which took place in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in February, outraged church as well as government authorities.

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Pussy Riot's cause has since drawn widespread support, complete with global solidarity protests and personal statements of support from high-profile international artists. Such developments have pressured Russian authorities. 

The church statement comes a day before the three imprisoned female band members are set to appear in court to plead their appeal, said AP. They were arrested on charges of hooliganism and a court ruling last month sentenced them to two years in prison. 

Synodal Information Department head Vladimir Legoida, who issued today's statement on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church, firmly stated that Pussy Riot members must be punished for "insulting the feelings of believers."

However, it went on to invite “those who desecrated a holy place” to repent for "the benefit [of] their souls," going on to argue that since "the aim of punishment is correction, some words by the offenders of the law evidencing their repentance and rethinking of what their have done should be heard and they should get a chance to embark upon the path of correction,” reported Russia's RIA Novosti

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/120930/russian-orthodox-church-pussy-riot-repent-punk-prayer-and