MOSCOW, Aug 16 (Reuters) - The head of the Russian Orthodox
Church, who has called President Vladimir Putin's rule a
"miracle of God", defended its close ties with the state on
Friday against criticism fuelled by the trial of three members
of the Pussy Riot punk band.
In remarks published a day before a court issues its verdict
in the trial over the band's protest against the Church's
political role on a cathedral altar, Patriarch Kirill said the
Church and state were merely bound by a "common agenda".