The controversial bill, submitted to the State Duma in late September, was backed by 308 lawmakers and opposed by just two, garnering the minimum 226 votes necessary for approval.

The legislation will come into effect next month if passed by the upper house of parliament – the Federation Council – and signed by President Vladimir Putin.

The bill was prepared in the wake of the all-female punk band Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer” protest at a prominent Moscow cathedral, in which they called for the Virgin Mary to banish Putin.