Christians to resist eviction of Occupy camp with ring of prayer
The following news release was issued on 18 January.
Christians who support the ‘Occupy’ movement have pledged to form a ring of prayer around the camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral if it is threatened with forced removal by bailiffs or police.
Labour MP Helen Goodman and Church of England priest Chris Howson are among the people who have committed themselves to joining the ring of prayer.
An online pledge for people wishing to join in has been launched by Christianity Uncut, an informal network of Christians campaigning against the UK government’s cuts agenda. It has been welcomed by the Christian thinktank Ekklesia. People of all faiths are very welcome to join the ring of prayer.
A court ruling on the City of London’s request for eviction is expected imminently.
Chris Howson, a Church of England priest based in Bradford, said:
“The Occupy movement has been the most liberating experience for the Church since the ‘Faith in the City’ report in the 1980s. We cannot serve both God and Mammon!”
Helen Goodman, Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, said:
“The Occupy LSX have raised vital questions about the role of finance in the modern world. They have reminded the nation that markets are a human invention, which we need to control in the interests of all people. The idolisation of the City has been one of the most dangerous developments in recent years. I will pray to God that the City is reformed to serve rather than be served.”
Symon Hill, associate director of the Christian thinktank Ekklesia, said:
“There is something deeply wrong when we focus more on the inconvenience caused by the campsite than on the exploitative nature of the City of London. The Gospel confronts us with uncomfortable truths. We have to witness to the realities of our financial system and to the injustice that continues when we collude with it.”
Supporters of the ring of prayer are urged to show their support on Twitter, by using the hashtag #Mark1115, in reference to Jesus’ nonviolent direct action in the Jerusalem Temple.
The pledge made by those committed to joining a ring of prayer reads as follows:
“I stand in solidarity with people of all religions and none who are resisting economic injustice with active nonviolence. In the event of Occupy London Stock Exchange being evicted, I intend to go to the camp to worship and to join with others in forming a ring of prayer. I will seek to act in a spirit of love towards all concerned.”
Christianity Uncut is an informal network of Christians campaigning against the UK government’s cuts and the injustices of capitalism. We are inspired by Jesus, who took nonviolent direct action in the Jerusalem Temple in solidarity with people who are exploited or marginalised.
The pledge can be found at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ring-of-prayer-at-eviction-of-ocupy-lsx.html.