Over 1,000 Christians of different denominations gathered in Oklahoma City to pray as a Satanic black mass was held inside a city building Monday night.
Faith-based Christian groups such as the Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma and The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property held prayer rallies and a unity walk as a way of standing up for God while the local Satanic church, called the Church of Ahriman, held a black mass ritual to show the community part of what goes on during their services.
Catholics, Methodists, Pentecostals, Baptists, Episcopalians, and Christians from other denominations united to present an alternative to attending the black mass, which also included the Satanist ritual of the "consumption of Mary."
"I came down here today to not really protest the Satanic mass, but to represent my father, Jesus Christ," said local resident Lyndon Price to Fox 25.
Prior to the mass and unity walk, Paul Coakley, the archbishop of Oklahoma City, called on the city's Catholics to participate in Monday's prayer walk.
According to The Oklahoman, Coakley said the Satanic ritual of the consumption of Mary is intentionally in response to the Catholic celebration of the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, which is celebrated around Aug. 15 in many countries.
Prior to the black mass and gathering of Christians, Fox 25 reports that a local Catholic Church held its own service on the lawn of the civic center earlier in the day, which was attended by hundreds of people.
"What the Satanists are doing is a public offense to God and a public offense requires a public act of reparation and atonement," resident Brian McCall said.
Later on in the evening, Christians gathered at the "Jesus Wept" statue, which is located across the street from the Oklahoma City National Memorial." According to KGOU, Christians were greeted by the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Rev. William Novak.
"You are welcome to walk in silence, or to pray, or even sing out if you would like," Novak said. "But let us be a sign of peace, unity, and faith."
Timothy Tardibono, the president of the Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma, said during an interview broadcasted by a local radio station that the Christian gathering in response to the black mass was really not about protesting the Satanists' right to gather and worship.
"We wanted to give people an opportunity to be away from that event, and have a peaceful place," Tardibono explained. "With the memorial obviously having so much meaning, we just thought it was a much better venue than being down there at the civic center with the police and the protesters."
Prior to the mass, a petition was launched urging the city government to cancel the black mass. The online petition was supported by over 154,600 people.
The petition argued that the co-founder of the church running the black mass is a registered sex offender named Adam Daniels. Additionally, the petition argued that "Jesus Christ is attacked in a most vile and unspeakable manner."
"Every black mass is a direct, deliberate and sinful act of hatred against God," the petition explains. "Often, a consecrated host is stolen from a Catholic Church and then used to desecrate, mock and insult the Catholic mass."
It should be noted that the petition's call for the city government to cancel the black mass because of its offense towards Christians goes against the interest of many Christians throughout the nation who are battling atheist legal organizations for their religious freedoms in the public square.