Protesters far outnumbered attendees of a Satanic 'black mass' held in Oklahoma City Sunday.
The Oklahoman newspaper reported that between 40 and 50 people attended the ritual, which was held in a small theater in the basement of the Oklahoma City Civic Center. The ceremony was led by Adam Daniels, a self-proclaimed Satanist, who had said that his group would tone down the ritual's more decadent elements to comply with state law.
Daniels told the Tulsa World prior to the ceremony that he would include a ritual denouncing Jesus Christ and stomp and spit on a wafer representing the Communion host. He added that private rituals conducted by his group featured sex, urine, and nudity.
Meanwhile, about 1,200 Roman Catholics crowded into St. Francis of Assisi Church to hear a holy hour prayer service led by Archbishop Paul S. Coakely. Those who couldn't get into the sanctuary filled an adjacent gym and cafeteria area, while approximately 400 others gathered outside to hear the service piped through speakers.
Coakley told attendees in his homily that Oklahoma City had been targeted by "dark forces," but noted that as Christians "we know that Christ conquered Satan. The war has been won, Christ has conquered, though skirmishes will continue until Christ comes to reign forever."
The service was followed by a procession to the Civic Center, where protesters from around the region had gathered to demonstrate against the Satanic ritual. Security had been stepped up for the event and Oklahoma City Police told KOKH-TV that someone had called in a bomb threat during the service. The Oklahoman reported that one woman was arrested after she knelt in front of one of the entrances to the Civic Center and refused to leave.
Despite the outrage over the service, city officials said they would not block the ritual from going forward because the Civic Center is a public building.