Britain’s Foreign Office is lighting its offices red in a sign of solidarity with the world’s persecuted Christians.
Red Wednesday is a campaign promoted by Aid to the Church in Need and Christian Solidarity Worldwide to encourage people to “stand up for religious freedom” by shining red light on prominent landmarks and churches, as well as other activities to highlight global religious persecution.
Rehman Chishti, the UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, was scheduled to lead a candlelit procession from Parliament Square to Westminster Cathedral for a liturgy focusing on persecuted Christians in countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
It is the first time the UK government has given such an endorsement to the event, and Aid to the Church in Need UK (ACN UK) sees it as fruit of the unprecedented Foreign Office-commissioned independent inquiry into the persecution of Christians led by the Anglican Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen.
The report recorded the widespread persecution Christians face worldwide, and notes that Christianity is by far the most persecuted religion on the planet.
“Following the endorsement of #RedWednesday in the Bishop of Truro’s review into [the UK Foreign Office] support for persecuted Christians – commissioned by former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt – the procession is a real chance for Christians to stand together and in a very visible way, show that the lives of Christians and other persecuted minorities matter,” said ACN (UK)’s Patricia Hatton.
The British government has stepped up its engagement on the issue of religious liberty, and 2018 saw the appointment of the prime minister’s first Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief. In comparison, the United States legislated for an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom in 1998, a position currently held by former Kansas governor and senator Sam Brownback.
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SOURCE: Crux Now, Charles Collins