Buildings lit up red in solidarity with persecuted Christians

The Houses of Parliament turned red in solidarity with persecuted Christians around the world(Photo credit: Aid to the Church in Need, UK/Weenson Oo)

The Vatican and the British Houses of Parliament were lit up red on Wednesday in a mark of solidarity with Christians around the world being persecuted for their faith.

Red Wednesday is held each year to remember those suffering for their faith and call for religious freedom to be upheld around the world.

The campaign is the initiative of Aid to the Church in Need UK and was held this year in partnership with Christian Solidarity Worldwide, two organisations that lobby for and support persecuted Christians globally.

Other buildings turning red on Wednesday included Westminster Cathedral, Lambeth Palace and the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of St George.

Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, Archbishop Angaelos asked people to join him in praying for those of all faiths and none, particularly those in the Middle East, who are suffering because of their beliefs.

He also appealed to Christians to advocate for those who are less able to speak for themselves - the 'truly voiceless,' he said.

'So today please join me in prayer in advocating for and in constantly remembering and reminding others of the plight of our sisters and brothers around the world, Christians, those of many faiths and those of no faiths who are maybe persecuted just for following their conscience and expressing themselves as we are so free to do here,' he said.

In addition to buildings being lit up in solidarity, people were being encouraged to mark the day by wearing red.

ACN and CSW also led a candlelit procession to Amazing Grace, where Christians gathered outside to sing 'Amazing Grace'.