International

Woman faces jail for lighting cigarette using church candle

MOSCOW: A Russian woman landed herself in a trouble after she used a church candle to light up a cigarette and facing legal complications for the misdemeanor.

The 21-year-old could be jailed for up to three years for posting the photo under a strict law introduced by President Vladimir Putin against “insulting the feelings of religious believers”.

She is the latest in a string of people charged under the law, following a video blogger accused of playing Pokémon Go in a church and another man, 39, who wrote “There is no God” on an online chat room, reported the Times.

The unnamed woman took the photo in a church in Belgorod, 400 miles south of Moscow, and posted it in May last year, the Times reported.

Alexander Verkhovsky, from the nationalism and racism thinktank the Sova Centre, said: “This is bad behaviour, of course, but she should simply have been kicked out of the church.

He added: “It should not be a criminal offence.”

The law, which was approved by the Russian president in 2013 has sparked anger among critics who say it is being used to gag freedom of expression.

 

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