Russian Tattoo Artist Detained for Hurting the Feelings of Christians with Her Tattoos

A young tattoo artist from St. Petersburg, Russia, was recently detained for insulting religious believers with controversial tattoos featuring Jesus Christ, the cross and other Christian symbols.

Daria Krichker is facing up to one year in jail for her crimes. According to the Orthodox activist group that filed a complaint against her, she has committed “repeated gross blasphemous acts against Christ, the Mother of God, and the saints of the Church,” which “cannot be tolerated on Russian soil. It all started earlier this month when photos of a tattoo reportedly inked on Krichker’s own calf went viral on social media. It showed Jesus on the cross having an orgasm, which isn’t the kind of creative work that religious people would appreciate. It’s weird, many would describe it as disgusting, but in Russia, such a tattoo can literally land you behind bars.

Photo: Benjamin Lehman/Unsplash

In Krichker’s case, the above-mentioned tattoo was only the beginning. Once the hounds were unleashed, they started sniffing for other controversial tattoos and they made sure they found them. Soon, dozens of national news publications were featuring pictures of kittens peeking out of crosses, churches with inverted reflections, and anime-style girls sitting on Jesus’ lap, all designed to create the image of a troublemaker. Before long, the authorities became involved.


The young tattoo artist was detained at the airport, just as she was getting ready to fly to Yerevan, in Armenia. A criminal case was opened against her under Art. 148 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion”), and she risks up to one year in jail. Considering she has a clean record, she will likely get away with a large fine. Daria told interrogators from the Center for Combating Extremism that it had never been her intention to offend Christians, but that excuse is unlikely to get her off the hook.

Oh, and those controversial tattoos the religious activists found? Apart from the one of Jesus on the cross with a big smile on his face, they were actually the work of another tattoo artist, who happens to be the owner of the tattoo shop Daria works at. No criminal case has been opened in her name yet.

“There should be no images of cats, dogs, horses, monkeys, or any other inclusions or other details that profane holy religious symbols since this is disrespect for sacred things and blasphemy,” the Orthodox activist group Forty-Forty wrote in a statement. “This tattoo artist consistently and systematically made tattoos with caricatures of icons, and with inverted temples, and with blasphemous inscriptions mentioning God, and hanging crosses on the waist, and other things – we are talking about deliberate, thoughtful actions.”

“If kittens insult your faith, then I have serious doubt about its strength,” the tattoo artist said.