Friday, August 10, 2012

VIDEO: Madonna delivers human rights speech at Russian concert

Madonna’s MDNA world tour rolled into St. Petersburg, Russia Thursday night amid threats of violence against the pop superstar.

Tensions were high following Madonna’s concert in Moscow on Tuesday, when the singer expressed support for Russian punk band Pussy Riot, who have made international headlines for being in custody for five months after giving an impromptu performance in the city’s main cathedral to call for an end to President Vladimir Putin's rule. The band’s trial wrapped up this week and a verdict is expected next week.

The issue has garnered international attention as prosecutors seek a 3-year jail term for the trio on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for their “punk prayer.”

On Thursday, Madonna spoke at length during her St. Petersburg show about human rights issues.

“We want to fight for the right to be free,” began the singer. “To be who we are. It’s a very strange time in the world; I’m traveling around the world and I feel it in the air. I feel that people are becoming more and more afraid of people who are different. People are becoming more intolerant.

“It’s a very scary time, but we can make a difference,”
she said. “We can change this: we have the power. And we don’t have to do with violence, we just have to do it with love.”

Madonna then went on to discuss gay rights and human rights in general, referencing the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., before addressing religious issues.

"It's in every holy book: love thy neighbor as thyself," she said. "You cannot use religion to treat other people badly. Let's all go out into the world and spread this message of love, and live our lives without fear."

Madonna Madonna

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