Christians ready for night-time ring of prayer as Occupy eviction looms

By agency reporter
27 Feb 2012

Christians are pushing ahead with plans for a ring of prayer at the eviction of Occupy London Stock Exchange, even if the bailiffs are sent in at night-time.

The eviction is expected very soon, following a Court of Appeal ruling last week.

Believers have sent their phone numbers to Christianity Uncut, who will contact them by phone or text message as soon as they hear from the camp that eviction seems about to happen.

It is likely to be a multifaith event, as people of other faiths have pledged to join Christians in prayer.

The City of London Corporation have refused to rule out a nighttime eviction, suggesting that they may follow the practice at the Bank of Ideas, which was evicted after midnight.

Christianity Uncut today reiterated calls for St Paul's Cathedral and the Bishop of London to declare their opposition to forced eviction. A group of clergy, theologians and activists have signed a letter urging the Cathedral Chapter to do so, but the Chapter’s reply did not address the question.

Louise Polhill, Minister-in-Training at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, is planning to join the ring of prayer. She said: “I think it’s important that Christians stand in solidarity with those who seek to nonviolently challenge systems that oppress the poorest. We hope that our prayer and presence will bring peace into a potentially fraught situation.”

Symon Hill, author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Religion and associate director of the Ekklesia thinktank, is also planning to join the ring of prayer. He commented: “The City of London Corporation have behaved shamefully by refusing to rule out a nighttime eviction. They may hope that fewer people will turn up. Even a relatively small number of people praying during the eviction will be a significant witness to the power of God’s love, which stands as an alternative to the transient power of money and markets".

Participants in the ring of prayer have committed themselves to active nonviolence and to seeking to act in a spirit of love towards all concerned.

Christianity Uncut have noted that a physical ring around the whole camp may not be possible amidst the confusion of an eviction, but believe that a number of people praying around the camp will have a similar impact. If the police cordon off the area at the beginning of the eviction, those arriving later may pray outside the cordon, where their witness will still be visible.

Christianity Uncut (http://www.christianityuncut.wordpress.com) is an informal network of Christians campaigning against the UK government’s cuts and the injustices of capitalism. They are inspired by Jesus, who took nonviolent direct action in the Jerusalem Temple in solidarity with people who are exploited or marginalised.

The network stresses that it is committed to active nonviolence, rejecting both violence and passivity.

Over 300 people have signed a statement expressing their intention to join the ring of prayer when Occupy London Stock Exchange is evicted. The statement can be read at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ring-of-prayer-at-eviction-of-ocupy-....

Christianity Uncut have published guidelines on the practicalities of the ring of prayer: http://christianityuncut.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/guidelines-for-ring-of....

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