Music Photos of the Year 2012
May 31: Madonna performs on stage during her "MDNA" world tour kickoff in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Madonna hasn't let threats of violence quiet her down.

During her performance in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday night, the singer made a passionate plea for gay rights.

"The gay community here, and all around the world, have the same rights, to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love," she said to cheers, after evoking the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Madonna Concerts Threatened With Violence in Russia

The St. Petersburg concert, as well as Tuesday night's Moscow performance, proceeded after warnings from Moscow's U.S. Embassy and St. Petersburg's U.S. Consulate General, which urged U.S. citizens in attendance to "remain vigilant" after the shows received threats of physical violence.

Yet Madonna's fans stood in solidarity with the pop star on Thursday night.

"If you're with me, I want to see your pink arm bands!" she said, referring to wristbands that were distributed to participating fans who wished to support the LGBT community.

"I said, are you motherf***ing with me?" she added.

Madonna then spoke out against using religion to justify intolerance.

"It's in every holy book: love thy neighbor as thyself," she said. "You cannot use religion to treat other people badly. Let's all go out into the world and spread this message of love, and live our lives without fear."

In Moscow, Madonna supported jailed punk musicians Pussy Riot, appearing with the band's name written on her back and telling the audience she'd "pray for them."

The band stood in a contentious trial this week for a public protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin, with a verdict set for next Friday.

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