The LA Atheism Examiner reports:
Two art curators, Yuri Samodurov and Andrei Yerofeyev, were convicted Monday by a Moscow court of “inciting religious hatred’ for putting on an exhibet called “Forbidden Art” in 2007. A Mickey Mouse Jesus, a Coca Cola Christ with the slogan “this is my blood” and a Christ on the cross with an Order of Lenin medal in place of a head, were among the offending items. The two curators escaped jail sentences but were ordered to pay fines of of 200,000 roubles ($6,477) and 150,000 roubles ($4,858) respectively. They could have faced a maximum 3 year sentence.
Their actual crime was offending the Russian Orthodox Church, resurgent in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union and believed to have a cozy relationship with the current Medvedev/Putin government. Gleb Yakunin, a priest who has severed ties with the church years ago, told CBS 13, “The church has become an instrument of censorship like it was during czarist times. It wants to control culture.”
After the Church pushed for the prosecution, it told the court through Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyanksy, press spokesperson for the bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, that prison sentences would be inappropriate. “Any believer will tell you that they can be convicted for inciting religious strife,” Vigilyansky said, “but I think that their conviction should not lead to imprisonment. I’m asking the authorities to show clemency and leniency toward them.”
The full story is here.