Religion Claims Its Place In Occupy Wall Street

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Occupy Wall Street organizers say religious elements help foster calm and unity

Occupy Wall Street protesters with signs.

BOSTON (AP) -- Protesters at the Occupy Wall Street movements
have taken pains to include religious components, from a "golden
calf" paraded around Wall Street to Boston's "Sacred Space" tent
where people can meditate and pray.

Inside the Boston tent, a Buddha statue sits near a picture of Jesus, while a hand-lettered sign in the corner points toward Mecca.

The protests in New York have included a Yom Kippur service, about 70 Muslims kneeling toward Mecca at a prayer service and a practitioner of Native American religion offering to cleanse protesters with smoke from a smoldering sage plant.

Organizers say religious elements help foster calm and unity. Plus, they say every successful movement for social change has relied on contributions from people of faith.

But in a movement that purports to represent 99 percent of society, the prominent religious groups so far are overwhelmingly liberal.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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