For what it's worth, in my country (the Philippines) a contraceptive and condom activist by the name of Carlos Celdran broke into Manila Cathedral on September 30, 2010 during an ecumenical celebration. He carried an insulting placard and shouted at the assembled priests and bishops to "stop getting involved in politics". Actually, what he meant was that the Catholic Church should stop fighting abortion and contraception.
He was arrested and jailed for a night for the crime of offending religious feelings. He is currently free on bail, but is still on trial and is facing 6 years in jail. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila is certainly not backing down from its case against him.
Reading this thread gives me a sense of deja vu. Just as Filipino liberals and feminists applauded the blasphemous act in the Manila Cathedral, so I see on this thread Orthodox who don't care about the severity of blasphemy and who prefer to drink the secular kool-aid about how the Church must conform to secular expectations and never dare to defend itself or to assert its role in society. If this is what Orthodox in the West are now like then I guess they are just as secularized as the Western Catholics and Protestants! At least we Filipino Catholics still know something about how to defend the honor of our sanctuaries. (And, I might add, the Russians too).
Should people be thrown into jail for defiling churches? Yes. Absolutely. That is what ALL Christians would have said before the poison of modern liberalism made Christians ashamed of defending their own dignity.
Perhaps you should reread some of the links and information presented in this thread. Among people in Russian and other places occupied by the MP, there is a strong belief among many within the Church that jailing the political opponents of the patriarchate is wrong. Separating a mother from her child because of a political offense is inhumane. I haven't seen anybody state that they support doing what Pussy Riot did, rather let's keep it in perspective. Of course nothing Pussy Riot did comes even close to the mockery of New Testament Christianity that the MP daily conducts. Go figure.
Well, let me be the first, I support what they did, it was a victimless crime of conscience. Those who engage in nonviolent protest according to the dictates of their conscience can never be condemned, regardless of how vile or evil one believes their opinions and intentions to be. This is a natural consequence of the freedom of conscience and the free will of man. Even your God gives way before the conscience of man and yields to his free will. And yet, the Bishops seek to destroy this freedom of conscience, which is so sacred that not even an omnipotent God dares interfere.
Yes, yes, yes, we understand, Mr. Resident Atheist. Religion is a vile thing, therefore we should feel free to axe icons and defile churches in the name of 'conscience'. After all, no one is "victimized" by such acts (a view that, of itself, presupposes that religious icons and buildings are of no value at all).
I wonder if you'd say the same thing about someone who cuts down a tree.
Taking an ax to icons (that you don't own, of course) would be quite different, that would be the destruction of someone else's property, hardly a victimless crime (though, even then, unless the icon was a thousand years old, 7 years in prison would be a rather draconian sentence, especially considering how easy Lenin and Stalin got off). But you're presenting a bit of a non-sequitur here, all the accused did was go into the church and say a prayerful song. A prayerful song that was offensive to the current regime and a bit unconventional, but just a prayer none the less.
And I don't believe I said that religion was a vile thing; quite the contrary, I believe I criticized the bishops for their actions not being in line with the religion to which they give lip service, that's a comment about the value of honesty and consistency not about the value of religion. Or have things changed while I've been gone? Does God now serve the bishops instead of the bishops serving God?
Oh, why should I care if someone cuts down a tree? Provided they own the property the tree is on or have purchased/legally acquired the rights too said tree, shouldn't they have every right to do with it as they please?