PARLIAMENTARIANS, bishops, priests, students, young professionals, benefactors and other ACN friends as well as volunteers, young and old representing many nationalities all marked #RedWednesday 2022 yesterday (23rd November) in style.
More than 200 people attended the #RedWednesday party at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in London’s Mayfair district.
Earlier today, more than 25 MPs, including Fiona Bruce, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, stood in solidarity with Bishop Jude Arogundade of Ondo, Nigeria.
It was in his diocese that Islamic State militants in the West Africa Province claimed responsibility for an attack on St. Francis Xavier Church in Owo, where 41 people died and 78 were injured during Pentecost Sunday mass.
Meeting MPs at Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament, Bishop Arogundade thanked them for their sympathy with the plight of persecuted Nigerian Christians and asked for their help in encouraging the British government to ease the situation.
All this week, all over the world, buildings have lit up in red to mark the witness of the martyrs of their faith in Christ, like those in Nigeria.
Among the buildings to turn red in London was the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in Whitehall.
In front of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, also bathed in red, a large crowd gathered to pray the first ten of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.
The crowd then invaded the cathedral for the Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy.
Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, Apostolic Eparchy of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy, presided, and concelebrants included Archbishop John Wilson of Southwark and Bishop Arogundade.
In the interviews that followed, Bishop Arogundade testified about the Owo atrocity and ACN’s John Pontifex explained the findings of ACN’s latest research. Persecuted and forgotten? A Report on Christians Oppressed for Their Faith 2020-22 launched in Parliament last week.
Meanwhile, a Scottish #RedWednesday digital webinar took place, sponsored by Clare Adamson MSP, and ACN’s Dr John Newton presented the findings of the report.
Afterwards, Dr Caroline Hull, Country Director of ACN (UK), said: “The support across the UK – and around the world – for #RedWednesday 2022 shows just how much the plight of those who suffer for their faith speaks to people around the world.
“For Christians and members of minority faith groups, not being able to openly express their religious beliefs is a mistake; no one should live in fear simply because they adhere to a faith different from the beliefs of those in power.
- To order a copy of Persecuted and forgotten? A report on oppressed Christians for their visit to Faith 2020-22 www.acnuk.org/orderpf22
- To sign the ACN (UK) #RedWednesday petition calling on the UK government to demand that Nigerian authorities bring to justice those responsible for attacks on Christians and others, visit: www.acnuk.org/petition-2022