The trial of Russian punk pranksters Pussy Riot promises to give them ample time in the international spotlight, making their original pantomime protest against church-state ties wildly successful. The three women, who are accused of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility," pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges on Monday, but apologized to the faithful for causing offense with their "punk prayer" action in February. "We did not want to offend anybody," band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said in court, according to Reuters' Alissa de Carbonnel. "We admit our political guilt, but not legal guilt."

Tolokonnikova and her bandmates, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, face seven years in prison for the stunt, in which they donned face masks and mounted the alter at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral, miming a performance that they later released on YouTube, set to music. The point of the "punk prayer," which landed the women in jail shortly afterward, was to call attention to the too-cozy relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin, and while the band's members have suffered for it, they certainly achieved their goal. The jailed band members have become something of a cause célèbre in Russia, where supporters chanted, "Girls, we're with you!" as they walked into court on Monday, and in the rest of the world, where they're getting gushing coverage in The Guardian and benefit shows in New York. The trial promises to keep them in the news, which can only help the photogenic band members, all of whom are in their 20s and two of whom have children. They're sort of the perfect martyrs for a movement against state suppression of speech, lya Oskolkov-Tsentsiper, the co-founder of the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, explained to The Guardian's Carole Cadwalladr: "Because they are so young. Because they have children. Because what they have done is so unimportant and silly and has all of a sudden become so huge because of this disproportionate reaction." And the trial promises to keep that disproportionate reaction on the minds of Russians and the rest of the world.

As a refresher for what landed them in the dock, here's a video of what churchgoers saw when Pussy Riot led their "punk prayer" in February: 

And here's the finished video they released on YouTube: