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MP says cross cutting ‘Satanist’ pro-Pussy Riot stunt

Published time: August 27, 2012 12:55
Edited time: August 27, 2012 16:55
A worship cross, dedicated to the memory of victims of political repressions in Arkhangelsk, cut down by unidentified vandals. (RIA Novosti / RIA Novosti)

A worship cross, dedicated to the memory of victims of political repressions in Arkhangelsk, cut down by unidentified vandals. (RIA Novosti / RIA Novosti)

An MP of the ruling United Russia party labels the recent incidents of several Orthodox crosses being cut down in Russia as “true Satanism”. He says it is a direct consequence of the scandal over the “punk prayer” by now jailed band Pussy Riot.

“This is true Satanism! When some obsessed scum are destroying the symbols of Orthodox Christianity and even the most outspoken liberals cannot talk of “civil position” or “free arts” here. This is direct instigation of religious hatred,” Aleksey Zhuravlev said.

Zhuravlev is a member of the Lower House Defense Committee and chairman of the Congress of Russian Communities – an organization protecting the rights of ethnic Russians abroad.

“It is necessary to find this Satanist scum and give them a show trial under the Article 282. A show trial! This should become a lesson to the rest,” the parliamentarian holds. The article of the Russian Criminal Code lists instigation of hatred as a crime and orders punishment of up to five years in prison.

The politician added that in his view the members of Pussy Riot got a very lenient sentence for their “punk prayer”.

“My comrades and I from the Congress of Russian Communities insisted that the suspects should be tried under Article 282, as they openly insulted the dignity of millions of Orthodox Christians,” he said.

“The situation is very serious, we need resolute measures to counter this army of darkness that is hiding behind the mask of opposition and liberalism until their time comes,” Zhuravlev concluded.

Deputy head of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party Yaroslav Nilov told the press that those who insult Christianity will be punished by fate and society only needs to show that this is inevitable.

“The incidents of desecration of religious symbols and temples have become frequent in recent times. The incidents with felling of crosses are of the most dangerous kind. This outspoken behavior is often presented by mass media as a funny flash mob and the aggrieved party is painted in uninteresting colors and this only adds to the aggression, the social conflict and to the number of provocations,” Nilov stated in a press release.

The MP urged journalists to treat the situation seriously and to inform the public about the sad fate of those who committed acts of religious vandalism.

“When the media report about vandalism they should also give examples from our history about the fate of those who dropped church bells, felled crosses and demolished churches. A lot of those who committed acts of sacrilege often got retribution really fast – accidents happened to them, some of them died suddenly and some lost their relatives,” the letter reads.

“Vivid reporters’ stories with such historical parallels would cool some hot heads and bring down the number of provocations,” the politician wrote.

The reaction came as unidentified people chopped down and cut into pieces three Orthodox crosses near the village of Smelovsky in the Chelyabinsk Region in the Urals, and one cross in North Russia’s Arkhangelsk Region. Police have started a search for the vandals, but so far have not achieved any results.

At the same time, the leader of the local Cossack community said that the Cossacks will do their best to find the hooligans and hand them over to law enforcers. He also said that the crosses will be restored and guard posts will be put near the holy symbols.

The incident took place about a week after the Ukrainian feminist group Femen cut a memorial cross in central Kiev with a chainsaw as a sign of protest in support of the members of Pussy Riot.

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