Ring of Prayer at St. Paul's Will Damage Reputation of Church?

In support of the Occupy London Stock Exchange movement over 250 Christians signed up for a "ring of prayer" standby to prevent the eviction of the protester's largest campsite in central London surrounding St. Paul's Cathedral.

As the British Independent pointed out: "The plan could become an acute source of embarrassment for the Church of England, which is now faced with the spectacle of seeing praying Christians dragged from the steps of Britain's most famous cathedral."

From the beginning of its occupation in mid October 2011 the OLSX camp stirred controversies also among St. Paul leading officials as the monumental cathedral saw its doors closing for the first time since World War II due to security and health concerns through the camp.

Since then the cathedral leadership officially supported the City of London Corporation in its legal attempts to free the surroundings of the church from camping protesters. When the eviction was finally confirmed by the High Court three senior leaders left their rank in protest of the church not siding with the protesters as seen by them as representing the majority opinion of the people.

Supporters of the camp led by Christian think tank Ekklesia then set up a group to standby around the clock to rush to the site if any police or bailiffs should arrive and attempt to execute the ruling. There they will surround the tents and pray on the ground of the cathedral. By yesterday about 260 Christians from different denominations including church ministers have signed up on the list to join the ring of prayer.

Ekklesia's Symon Hill, one of the organizers told the Independent: "If people at the camp believe they are about to be evicted, the call will go out and we will try to get down there as fast as possible. The idea is to show the world that people of all sorts of different faiths care deeply about the Occupy protest and the issues it is trying to raise. Each person will make their own decision on what they want to do. Some will go if asked by police, but others will politely refuse and will have to be forcibly removed."

Earlier this week Dr. Giles Fraser, one of the stepped down St. Paul's clergy, called the church to side with the 99% not with the 1% and support the protesters.

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