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Punk rockers Pussy Riot in court over anti-Putin church protest

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, top, and Maria Alyokhina, right, members of female punk band "Pussy Riot", look out from the defendent's cell in a courtroom in Moscow on July 30, 2012. Three young women who staged an irreverent punk-rock protest against Vladimir Putin on the altar of Russia's main cathedral go on trial on Monday in a case seen as a test of the president's tolerance of dissent.

NBC News wire services report from Moscow — Three young women who staged an irreverent punk-rock protest against Vladimir Putin on the altar of Russia's main cathedral were due to go on trial Monday in a case seen as a test of the president's tolerance of dissent.

The trial of the activists - from the band Pussy Riot - should show how much power the resurgent Russian Orthodox Church and its head, Patriarch Kirill, wields. He has called the "punk prayer" blasphemy, casting it as part of a sinister anti-clerical campaign. Read the full story.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

A supporter of "Pussy Riot" waits outside the court where three members of the band are on trial, in Moscow on July 30, 2012.

Previously on PhotoBlog: Topless feminist confronts Russian church patriarch

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