A Russian court ordered two female punk rockers to remain in jail Wednesday for praying to the Virgin Mary to deliver the nation from Vladimir Putin in a surprise performance in the country’s main Orthodox cathedral.

Five members of the band Pussy Riot — wearing brightly colored homemade ski masks and miniskirts — briefly seized the pulpit of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in late February to chant “Mother Mary, drive Putin away.”

In less then a minute, the women were rounded up by security guards. Two of them were later arrested and face up to seven years in jail on charges of hooliganism.

Putin, who won a third presidential term in a March 4 election, described the performance as “unpleasant for all believers” and expressed hope that it would not be repeated.

The Russian Orthodox Church said the women deserve “fair justice” for the “blasphemous” performance at the cathedral, although thousands of believers signed a petition urging the church to forgive the band.

Continue Reading on www.npr.org