The Houses of Parliament, Lambeth Palace and 10 UK Cathedrals will today be floodlit red to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians and people who suffer for their peacefully held beliefs.
#RedWednesday, an initiative by charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), in partnership with Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) aims to put religious freedom on the public agenda and to encourage people to stand up for faith and freedom.
This afternoon, a red ‘Routemaster’ London bus emblazoned with #RedWednesday slogans will process past London landmarks including St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Regent Street before crossing Westminster Bridge and returning to Westminster Cathedral which will be floodlit.
From 6pm, people will gather in the Cathedral for a special service remembering persecuted Christians. Coptic Orthodox Bishop Angaelos of London, Neville Kyrke-Smith, Aid to the Church in Need (UK) National Director and Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide will address the congregation.
Christians in Iraq will join ACN in holding #RedWednesday as support for the initiative gains momentum around the world. Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, in Kurdish northern Iraq, confirmed yesterday (21 November) that a #RedWednesday prayer vigil will take place in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, opened last year in response to an influx of Christians fleeing persecution.
The Archbishop told the Catholic charity that he intends to floodlight the church red, making it one of hundreds around the world taking part in the initiative.
In the USA, Christian activists have launched a fresh push for churches and other Christian buildings in the state of Tennessee to floodlight red, and there are pledges of #RedWednesday support from countries including Malta and Gibraltar.
In the Philippines, more than 70 cathedrals and other leading churches are also due to floodlight red. Bishop Edwin de la Peña of the Prelature of Marawi, whose cathedral was destroyed by Daesh (ISIS) inspired extremist forces in May, will give the homily at a Mass held in Manila Cathedral in honour of the event.
In predominantly Catholic Malta the Auberge de Castille, the prime minister’s office, has been lit red.
PICTURE: St Chad's Catholic Cathedral, Birmingham ©Con McHugh