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Attorneys for the arrested band members argued that the women should be released because they have young children.

Although church and state are separate under Russia’s constitution, the Russian Orthodox Church has claimed a leading role in setting moral guidelines for society. Its growing prominence has caused concern among followers of minority faiths and nonreligious Russians.

The Church has called for tighter controls on the content of television broadcasts and for the banning of books such as Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita.”