Christians arrested at Extinction Rebellion protests in London

Christians being arrested during the Extinction Rebellion(Photo: Christian Climate Action)

Christians, including members of the clergy, were among those arrested this week in London while taking part in Extinction Rebellion protests. 

Police said that they have arrested nearly 1,300 people in total following the week of protests in the capital but that has not stopped people from turning out, with another demonstration planned for St James' Park near Buckingham Palace on Saturday. 

Father Martin Newell, a Catholic priest from Birmingham was arrested while protesting with members of Christian Climate Action (CCA) at London's City Airport.

He said: "I am here to raise the alarm, to call for a profound ecological conversion. The life of God's creation is under threat, especially the lives of God's poor.

"I am here to protect our common home, our mother, our sister which is among the most abused of our neighbours, as Pope Francis has said."

Sam Wakeling, a 34-year-old web designer and father of two from Sheffield, was also arrested while protesting at the airport.

He said that climate breakdown "has become the gravest threat to the safety of our children and all society", and that he felt compelled by his conscience to come out and protest. 

"I must follow my Christian faith and conscience to rebel," he said. 

CCA has been maintaining a presence at Trafalgar Square throughout the week, where it has been hosting regular prayer and worship sessions open to everyone taking part in the protests. 

A dozen people took the opportunity to reaffirm their baptismal vows in a paddling pool set up by the CCA in the Square.

Holly-Anna Petersen, a member of Christian Climate Action, was one of them.

She said: "I wanted to be baptised here because this is the outworking of my faith. Being here, making a stand for God's creation, is part of my worship.

"Jesus was the ultimate rebel, whose bravery in speaking out against injustice led not only to his arrest but his death.

"Being here on the streets, sharing community and standing up to oppressive powers, feels very much like the early church."