by Philip Bradfield, Belfast News Letter:
St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast was so packed for a prayer meeting on gay marriage and abortion that hundreds of people had to stand outside to take part in the event.
The government’s Northern Ireland (Executive Formations and Exercise of Functions) Bill is due to introduce same sex marriage and liberalise abortion law in NI if Stormont is not up and running again by 22 October.
Billed as non-political and non-denominational, ‘For the Soul of the Nation’ was organised by Care in Northern Ireland, Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF), CVM Ireland, Divine Healing Ministries, Drop Inn Ministries, Ellel Ministries Ireland, Evangelical Alliance NI, Healing the Land, House of Prayer Ireland, Stauros, Transformations Ireland and 24/7 Prayer Ireland.
A prayer booklet was handed out and over a period of two hours on Monday, a string of leaders led the packed Church of Ireland cathedral in prayers. Every seat was taken and up to 200 people were standing in the aisles, with up to a further 200 outside. A number of men with disabilities read biblical passages about being formed by God in their mothers’ womb.
Speaker after speaker addressed the congregation and led it in prayers, one stating that churches need to “ask forgiveness for what the church has done to the children and what the church has done to marriage”, another warning that “judgement begins at the house of God”.