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Femen activist Iana Zhdanova was arrested by Vatican officials after her Christmas Day attack. http://femen.org
Steve Weatherbe


Bare-breasted feminist snatches Baby Jesus at Vatican on Christmas Day

Steve Weatherbe
Femen activist Iana Zhdanova snatches the Baby Jesus from the Vatican's nativity scene on Christmas Day. http://femen.org

A lone feminist hooligan from the Paris group called Femen made an unsuccessful attempt to grab the Jesus figure from the nativity scene in front of St. Peter’s in Rome on Christmas Day, and a successful attempt to grab publicity.

The mostly blonde, mostly Ukrainian group of self-styled “sextremists” don’t always make sense, but they always make headlines because, as they protest political leaders such as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin or organized religion, especially the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, they always bare their breasts.

No exception was the Christmas stunt pulled by Iana Zhdanova of FEMEN, who stripped off her top, hopped a rope barrier and briefly seized the life-sized figure of Christ from the crèche at St. Peter’s Basilica before the Vatican’s own security staff seized her and recovered the Baby Jesus—and re-covered Zhdonova’s upper torso. Both religious and secular news outlets also covered Zhdonova with lavish photo spreads, and not so many words.

The woman was jailed overnight, then released with a warning to stay out of Vatican City. Femen, which claims to be atheist, anti-prostitution, pro-abortion and anti-religious, explained on its website that Zhdanova’s caper was part of its “Massacre of the Innocents” campaign to assert, paradoxically, that women have an unqualified right to abort their children whenever they want.

“FEMEN opens a hunt for the Bethlehem babies under anticlerical campaign ‘Massacre of the Innocents,’” declared the site in broken English. “The campaign is dedicated to the criticism of the senturies-old Vatican stance on women's rights for own body and reproductive function. The maniacal desire to control women's fertility is a common trait of many religions, National Socialism, nationalism and other antediluvian, anti-humanist ideologies.”

The group was founded in Kiev in 2008 but has since made Paris its headquarters due to the harsh police response in Eastern Europe. In November a trio of Femen activists performed simulated sex acts with crucifixes in front St. Peter’s. Others have flashed Russian Orthodox bishops and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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