Three pastors in Ohio, Akron recently staged fake arrests at their churches with real police to show their congregations how Christians are persecuted in the U.S.
According to the Associated Press, deputies handcuffed pastors while they preached and placed them in police cars while cameras rolled on Sunday (video below).
However, the church congregations fell for the ruse and were not told it was part of a marketing plan until after their pastors were cuffed and taken out of their churches.
The "arrested" pastors include: Rev. Melford Elliott, Rev. Robert Golson, and the Rev. Vincent Peterson, reports The Akron Beacon Journal.
When a video of the arrests was posted online, residents criticized Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry.
In response, Sheriff Barry issued a press release that stated:
I want to clarify that none of the arrests were real. It was all part of a skit that went along with the pastors’ sermons that day.
I knew it was being filmed, but I thought it was only going to be shown to the congregation. Once it got out there on the Web, people were commenting about how disgusting we were to interrupt church services to effect an arrest.
The fake arrests were part of the pastors'
“Defending the Faith” sermons and will continue at taxpayer expense until March 22 when the churches stage a production at a local theater.
None of the pastors responded to media inquiries for comment.