Jacob Martin, a Christian teacher from North Carolina, was arrested on March 27 for peacefully protesting during Easter Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City (video below).
The New York Post notes that the animal rights advocate stated that “only the devil” could create “animals capable of love and joy just so humans can make them suffer and die.”
Martin was quickly shoved out of the church by security guards and police, reports the New York Daily News.
Churchgoer Stephanie Stark tweeted, "Just as the priest began, someone got on a megaphone in the middle of Easter mass at St. Patrick’s. Little girl next to me was freaked out.”
Martin was part of an animal rights group called Collectively Free; additional group members stood up to protest while he was being removed from the church.
The other protesters carried signs of poultry and cows, and chanted, "Easter is a time for love. No more shedding animal blood,” as they walked out of the church.
Martin was charged with interrupting a religious service and taken to jail. He was expected to be arraigned on March 28, according to the Collectively Free Facebook page.
Martin had a camera attached to his chest, but some churchgoers believed it to be a bomb of some kind.
“I thought they were going to blow themselves up,” Carol Forester told the New York Post.
“I was terrified,” Cindy Calitri added. “I thought it was a bomb. There was something on his chest with lights flashing.”
“Ham is a big thing on Easter, so that’s why we decided to bring those voices to the public,” protester Raffaella Ciabatta explained later.
After Martin was arrested and the other protesters were removed, Rev. Damian O’Connell recited a prayer for them: "Pope Francis calls us to interact peacefully with those who oppose us."