I am a lay Anglican Christian from Hong Kong. Recently, far away from my diocese, in Moscow, the blasphemy of the band “Pussy Riots” in front of the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour offends many Orthodox sisters and brothers. Even I, as an anglican, share the same feeling. However, at the same time, the sentence of two years in prison for the three band members, is obviously too harsh, and feels like a political decision rather than a religious consideration. As a Christian, in these days I was struggling with what reaction I should take towards such issue. And today, in this Sunday, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I come up with an idea: forgiveness.
Jesus Christ our Lord teach us to love, not to hate. Yes, no matter how right the political ideology that “Pussy Riots” has promoted, their “protest” is lreally blasphemous. However, with the mercy of God our Father, we should forgive them. A sentence of two years in prison cannot save a soul from sins. Jesus never forces us to change our mind. Instead with the endless mercies of God he keeps on forgiving us, even we are still ignorant of what sins we have done.
Moreover, the blasphemy does not worth a sentence of two year in prison. Under the secular standard, such action should only be considered as disturbing public order. The blasphemy is a religious matter, which can only be judged by the Lord our God the only Judger in the heaven. We may say what “Pussy Riots” has done is sinful, but definitely not criminal.
As the Lord's prayer says, “forgive our sins, as we forgive those who sins against us.” This is an opportunity of the Orthodox sisters and brothers to testify the love and mercy of Christ to those who do not believe. This is a chance to practice the commandement of Christ: “love your neighbour as yourself”. Jesus Christ our saviour and our Lord even prayed for the forgivness for those who killed him on the cross. We should follow His example so as to bring love and mercy to this secular world of hatred.
Therefore, I urge all the sisters and brothers in Christ from all over the world, from all nations and all denominations, including Anglican, Protestant (Lutheran, Methodist, Reformed/Presbyterian, the Evengelical etc.), Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and all the other churches, to sign this letter to the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill I, his holiness, to forgive what have been done by the “Pussy Riots” and to intercede for them to the Russian government.
Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison. Amen.
19th August, 201212th Sunday after Pentecostal
An Open Letter to the Primate of Russian Orthodox Church for the Forgivness of the Sins of “Pissy Riots”
Dear Patriarch Kirill, your Holiness,
As a sister/brother in Christ, while I am so sorry of the unpleasant feeling from which you, your holiness, and the sisters and brothers of the Russian Orthodox Church suffer due to the blasphemy committed by the band “Pussy Riots”, I humbly beseech you, your holiness, to forgive their sins in the name of Christ our saviour and our Lord, and intercede to the Russian Government for releasing them from jail, so as to show the mercy of our God to the world and testify the love of Christ.
A sentence of two year in prison cannot save a single soul. The blasphemy should not be judged criminally by the secular government; instead, only God our Father, who is both the most merciful and the most righteous Lord, can judge them. Imitating the Christ who prays for those who kills Him, with the love of God, I hope you can also intercede to the Russian government for releasing them from jail.
May the peace of God be always with you. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
a sister/brother in Christ