Animal Rights Activists Disrupted Easter Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC: Cops

Jacob Martin is accused of shouting into a bullhorn during the Mass on Sunday

A teacher from North Carolina has been arrested after he disrupted an Easter Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, authorities say.

A group of six animal rights activists from the group Collectively Free interrupted the noon Mass on Sunday.

Police say one of the protesters shouted into a bullhorn that "only the devil" could create "animals capable of love and joy just so humans can make them suffer and die."

In a Facebook post after the protests, Collectively Free said that they decided to stage the protest during the Easter Mass because people "celebrate the resurrection of Jesus while holding on to the violent tradition of feasting on the bodies of animals."

Police say 23-year-old Jacob Martin was taken into custody and charged with interrupting a religious service.

Footage from inside the cathedral that was posted to the group's Facebook page showed Martin shouting that "we have morally failed as a culture" as cathedral guards carry the man out of the church by his arms.

Several other protesters join in as Martin is escorted out. They too are pulled out of the cathedral, chanting "Easter is a time for love. No more shedding animal blood."

The animal rights group says Martin is a Christian school teacher. Attorney information for the man wasn't immediately available, but Collectively Free said that they had a team working on his case.

The group also alleged in a Facebook post that Martin was "brutally tackled and restrained by cathedral guards, interrogated in custody, and—due to NYC law—has not been provided a vegan meal since his arrest."

"This short-term negative experience is well worth it, as he brought the issue of animal liberation to the 2,000 people in attendance at Mass yesterday AND the readers of national and international publications this morning," the group said in a Facebook post.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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