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'God Condemns Pussy Riot,' Church Official Says

Amnesty International has declared the jailed band members, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, above, prisoners of conscience. Vladimir Filonov

Clarification appended

Russian Orthodox church spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin said God told him in a divine revelation that he condemns members of female punk band Pussy Riot for their scandalous performance in Christ the Savior Cathedral.

"I am convinced that God condemns what they've done. I'm convinced that this sin will be punished in this life and the next," the priest told reporters during a round table organized by The New Times magazine.

Chaplin added that "God revealed this to me just like he revealed the Gospels to the church."

In a possible nod to the ongoing court case against three suspected band members accused of hooliganism, Chaplin said, "There's only one way out: repentance."

The band's performance of “Mother of God, Cast Putin Out!” on Feb. 21 has polarized liberal and conservative opinion in the country.

Since their detention, the jailed band members have become known worldwide, with Amnesty International declaring them prisoners of conscience and calling for their release.

Clarification: The translation of the name of the song performed by Pussy Riot in Christ the Savior Cathedral on Feb. 21 has been improved. It has been changed to “Mother of God, Cast Putin Out!” in place of “Holy Mother, Throw Putin Out!”

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