St. Paul’s Church in Patra, the Peloponnese, has its own Easter time-honored traditions. For starters, there is the ceremony of throwing red eggs to the faithful and offering a live lamb to a parish family after a draw. This year, the lamb in question stood in the parish courtyard throughout the church service. Miserable and evidently distraught the lamb was uneasy throughout the service, possibly understanding the fate that would befall it.
A group of animal rights activists decided that the time had come to put an end to the barbaric custom that has been observed for decades. Taking legal action against the church, they called for police intervention citing animal abuse. They were opposed to the church’s callous display of the suffering animal at the courtyard as a “show” for the children who attended the Holy Saturday service and wondered what sort of principles the church was instilling in these young people by offering such an attraction.
According to patrastimes.gr the animal rights activisits suggested that the priests offer money instead of a live animal. Father Nikodimos and three other priests were opposed to this and the arguments continued between priests and animal rights activists for a long time.