A topless “sextremist” tried to snatch a statue of the baby Jesus at the Vatican just before Pope Francis delivered his Christmas message.
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The the doll was part of a larger-than-life nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square.
Alisa Vinogradova, from the feminist group Femen, was stopped by police as she grabbed the Jesus and attempted to run away during the Christmas Day protest.
She jumped over guard rails shouting “God is woman” and had the same slogan painted on her bare back, a Reuters photographer at the scene said.
A Vatican gendarme stopped her from taking the statue and she was detained.
The incident happened about two hours before Pope Francis delivered his Christmas message to some 50,000 people in the square.
The topless protester shouted “God is woman” as she stormed the nativity scene (Image: Reuters)
Alisa Vinogradova, from the feminist group Femen, was stopped by police (Image: Reuters)
The group’s website identified her as Alisa Vinogradova and called her a “sextremist”.
It says the goal of the group, which was founded in Ukraine, is “complete victory over patriarchy”.
A Femen activist staged a similar action on Christmas Day 2014, but managed to take the statue out of the crib before she was arrested.
n his Christmas message Pope Francis told the faithful that “the winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline”.
In the traditional speech and blessing, the pontiff said children in the Middle East “continue to suffer because of growing tension between Israelis and Palestinians”, while Syria remains “marked by war” and ongoing conflict in Yemen “has been largely forgotten”.
He offered a prayer that “confrontation may be overcome on the Korean Peninsula”.
In his Christmas Eve vigil last night , the Pope likened the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to the migrations of millions of people today who are forced to leave their homelands for a better life.
He told the faithful that the “simple story” of Jesus’ birth in a manger changed “our history forever”.