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Pussy Riot 2.0: German Catholic Church presses charge copycats (VIDEO)

Three years in prison have become a closer prospect for some German followers of Russian punk band Pussy Riot. The Catholic Church has pressed charges against Cologne Cathedral intruders, who now face longer prison terms than their heroes.

The three protesters have been charged with disturbing a religious service which, according to German law, could mean up to three years in jail."The right to demonstration cannot be set above the right to religious freedom and the religious feelings of the congregation,” Cologne Cathedral’s dean told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.Three women from Pussy Riot received a two-year prison sentence for hooliganism over their controversial performance in Russia’s central Cathedral of Jesus Christ the Savior."The peace of Cologne Cathedral was disturbed – we can't and won't accept this," said Dean Robert Kleine to the newspaper.On August 20, three Germans – two men, aged 23 and 25, and a 20-year-old woman – stormed the cathedral in the city of Cologne to stage a performance inside the prayer hall similar to the one by Pussy Riot. They were dressed Pussy Riot-style, with colored balaclavas covering their heads.The group was shouting slogans, distributing flyers and singing. They had brought a banner demanding “Free Pussy Riot and all prisoners”.The show by three Cologne protesters lasted for less than a minute before cathedral wardens dragged them outside. Several other Pussy Riot protests were registered across Germany on August 20, the day the verdict in the Pussy Riot case was announced.The bishop of Cologne Cathedral, Heiner Koch, who witnessed the assault on his domain, promised later to include the demonstrators' cause, Pussy Riot and the people of Russia in his service prayer.The Cologne Pussy Riot followers’ case clearly demonstrates the truth of the adage that “one shall not make for himself an idol” – at least without reading the criminal code first.

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