Occupy the Faith DC Protests National Prayer Breakfast

Occupy DC protestors joined religious leaders in Washington, D.C., to protest against the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday.

During the 59th National Prayer Breakfast, the protesters, calling themselves Occupy the Faith DC, held their own conference called "People's Prayer Breakfast."

Occupy the Faith DC was in protest of the Fellowship Foundation, which sponsored the National Prayer Breakfast, according to The Institute on Religion and Democracy.

According to their website, The Fellowship Foundation is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to encourage people to carry out the First Commandment "to love God first" and "to love your neighbor as yourself." They say that they seek to accomplish this by adhering to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Occupy the Faith DC disagrees, saying that Fellowship is a "secretive conservative group that cultivates the wealthy and the powerful for political influence."

They held their rival breakfast at a United Church of Christ congregation near Dupont Circle. They will also hold a "Silent Witness" outside of the Washington Hilton, where the National Prayer Breakfast is being held.

An organizer for the People's Prayer Breakfast said that he is praying for millions of U.S. citizens who are in economic distress.

"While the 1 percent attend the National Prayer breakfast, the 99 percent will reflect, pray and draw attention to the suffering and marginalization of millions of U.S. citizens languishing in economic distress, uncertainty and poverty," the organizer said.

Institute of Religion & Democracy president, Mark Tooley made comments condemning the rival effort.

"This rival event mostly appears to be older religious left clergy who are parasitically attempting to harness the dissipating energy of the occupiers," Tooley said.

"Whatever the fanciful theories about its organizer, the National Prayer breakfast is a mostly admirable tradition that provokes politicians into at least momentarily expressing high-minded religious principles."

The National Prayer Breakfast featured speeches by President Barack Obama, who claimed that his policy arguments stemmed from his Christian faith, according to The Washington Post. Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffith III and writer Eric Metaxas also spoke at the event.