Words of support and shouts of outrage rippled around the world Monday as thousands of people marked the birthday of Nelson Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid leader who turned 70 in a South African jail.

In South Africa, the government banned concerts and birthday-related events for Mandela, who has been in a prison for nearly 26 years of a life sentence for sabotage and conspiracy to topple white rule.Dozens of nations have in recent days repeated their demand for the release of the black leader.

Mandela's supporters marked his birthday in at least 30 countries - including the United States, Japan, India, Cuba, West Germany, Nigeria and Venezuela - with celebrations ranging from rock concerts to church services.

In London, Anglican Bishop Trevor Huddleston, president of Britain's Anti-Apartheid Movement, led Christians, Buddhist monks, a rabbi and a Moslem scholar in prayers for Mandela at St. James's Church.

A sign calling for Mandela's release covered the altar, and a cake with 70 candles was on display. The 400 worshipers were asked to sign a 6-foot-high birthday card.

Also present were 25 activists who had marched 590 miles from Glasgow, Scotland. They will help deliver to the South African Embassy more than 30,000 cards signed by Britons calling for Mandela's unconditional release.

On Sunday, tens of thousands thronged London's Hyde Park for a rally addressed by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.