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A year after the punk band Pussy Riot performed a protest song in Moscow's main Orthodox cathedral, the situation for freedom of expression is worsening in Russia.
A Russian court's decision not to allow Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina to defer serving her sentence to a later date has been widely criticised.
The feeing of one defendent is only a half-measure in achieving justice for the three members of punk group Pussy Riot, human rights groups say.
Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church and Catholic Archbishop Jozef Michalik of Przemysl have signed a statement of reconciliation in Warsaw.
Patriarch Kirill I has called clergy who opposed the holding of mass prayer meeting in Moscow on 22 April 2012 "traitors in cassocks."
Amnesty International have called for the release of three young women arrested for staging an anti-Putin song in a Moscow cathedral.
Vladimir Putin's election to a third term as Russian president has spurred debates about civil society and church-state relations within the Russian Orthodox Church.
After a week of protest over alleged fraud in the 4 December parliamentary election, the Russian Orthodox Church has called for stricter controls on the process.
Pope Benedict XVI has met with Metropolitan Hilarion, the Russian Orthodox Church's chief ecumenical affairs officer, at Castel Gandolfo.