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Now online: Pussy Riot and Cyber-Orthodoxy

August 2, 2012 - Example Author - New Eastern Europe newsletter

After a short break, New Eastern Europe is back! To celebrate our return we are posting another text from the current issue. Polish historian and analyst Jacek Borkowicz looks at the changing Russian Orthodox Church in the context of the Pussy Riot hearings. 

Pussy Riot and Cyber-Orthodoxy

By: Jacek Borkowicz

Traditionally, Russian Orthodoxy has been associated with being a rigid structure. Today, however, its members are far from what we could call a monolith.

What really happened on February 21st 2012 at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour? Was it an anti-Christian demonstration or an unconventional protest against the political regime? This question cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” answer. A group of young women from a punk band called Pussy Riot dressed-up in masks and gaudy clothes tricked their way into the most important church in Russian Eastern Orthodoxy, Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. They got in when there were no churchgoers in the church, although it wasn't the churchgoers that the band cared about most; it was the cameraman, who accompanied them into the church. The members of the band danced and sang a song in front of the altar, which they call punk moleben, a punk intersession prayer. The song by no means resembled a religious hymn, although its chorus did consist of a call to the Virgin Mary to “chase” the prime minister, Vladimir Putin, who at the time was getting ready for the final stage of the presidential elections, away from the Kremlin. A major scandal erupted. 

To read the full article please visit: https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/402

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