The Russian Orthodox Church has refused to call for the release of two women who face seven years in jail after they staged an impromptu punk gig on the altar at Moscow's biggest cathedral.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina of the Pussy Riot group have been remanded in custody until a hearing on 24 April on charges of a "gross violation of public order" and religious hatred.
A Church spokesman said it condemned the act at Christ the Saviour Cathedral and would not interfere in a state matter. Many Russians criticised both the gig and the arrests.
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