Protestors interrupted the Pentecost service shouting “My body, my choice”.
On Sunday, three abortion activists interrupted televangelist Joel Osteen’s sermon, surprising the congregation by stripping naked and shouting pro-abortion slogans.
Protesters at Lakewood Church, an evangelical Christian mega-church in Houston, Texas, partially stripped naked and shouted “My body, my choice!” and “Flip Roe, no!” under the gaze of the faithful.
The activists represented the organization Rise UP 4 Abortion Rights, one of several groups that staged protests across the country following the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft majority opinion which said Roe v Wade would soon be overturned .
The women, dressed in sports bras with green handprints on them, were escorted out of the building to the cheers of the congregation.
“I know it seems very outrageous to do this in a church in a private space,” activist Julianne D’Eredita told local Houston TV station KPRC 2 of the protest. “However, those enforcing these laws do not hesitate to approach women in private spaces such as doctors’ offices and medical clinics to harass them and call them murderers.”
According to a report by the Catholic News Agency, when the protest began, Osteen, whose church seats 16,800 people, reassured the crowd: “And we will only wait a moment here, but God is good and he is on the throne and in control”.
“So we’ll just take a moment here and we’ll start, but I know that, I’m happy to be in the house of the Lord with people of faith.”
“So thank you Lord for a good service,” he said to cheers from the congregation, CNA reported. “Okay, we love everyone, so we just thank the Lord that he’s in control and has everything in his hands, and I think as long as I keep talking, you can’t hear what everyone world says.”
The televangelist has made pro-life statements in the past, but hasn’t been known to speak on hot-button social issues like abortion. The author of two bestselling books, Osteen is said to have a net worth of over $50 million. He has been criticized for preaching the “prosperity gospel”, in which Christian faith is linked to financial success.
Despite the significant media coverage the protest by abortion activists garnered, Rise up 4 Abortion Rights still had less than 4,000 Twitter followers two days later.
The group is now promoting street protests, dubbed “Nationwide Die-Ins,” which will take place on Thursday.