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from FaithWorld:

“Occupy” protests force London’s St Paul’s Cathedral to close

(Demonstrators camp outside St Paul's Cathedral in London October 20, 2011/Toby Melville)

London's landmark St Paul's Cathedral closed its doors on Friday because of hazards posed by hundreds of protesters encamped in front of it in a demonstration inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Dean Graeme Knowles, a senior Church of England cleric, wrote an open letter to protesters asking them to leave the square peacefully, which they have occupied since last Saturday after initially targeting the nearby London Stock Exchange.

"We have done this with a very heavy heart, but it is simply not possible to fulfill our day to day obligations to worshippers, visitors and pilgrims in current circumstances," Knowles said in a statement.

Fire and health hazards posed by the camp - which has been steadily growing through the week - make it impossible for the cathedral, a popular tourist attraction, to legally remain open, he added.