Persecuted Christians in Iraq are to take part in this week’s #RedWednesday as the campaign to promote faith and freedom goes global.
Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, in Kurdish northern Iraq, confirmed on Tuesday 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.
In his message, sent to #RedWednesday organisers Aid to the Church in Need, 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 which shines a light on religious persecution.
Meanwhile, in the UK, final #RedWednesday preparations are underway with up to 12 cathedrals there scheduled to go red along with the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.
A red ‘Routemaster’ London bus emblazoned with #RedWednesday slogans will weave its way 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 for music, testimonies and speeches from 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.
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.