ICC Note: The Brentwood Cathedral along with the Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey will now be floodlit in red this November to bring awareness to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. A recent reports shows that some 200 million Christians worldwide suffer for their faith in some form or another. The Middle East has been home to recent Christian genocide by the Islamic State.
10/27/2016 UK (Christian Times): This November Brentwood Cathedral will be floodlit red, to highlight the ongoing persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
Brentwood will stand alongside Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey which have previously announced that they too will be floodlit in red, in a display organised by the Catholic Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
Speaking to the Catholic Herald, the Dean of Brentwood Cathedral, Fr Martin Boland, said: “At present, Christians suffer greater hostility across the world than any other religious group. A recent report suggests that 200 million Christians, or 10 per cent of Christians worldwide, are socially disadvantaged, harassed or actively oppressed for their beliefs. This is deeply disturbing and the floodlighting of the Cathedral in red is to remind people of this.
“If the right to express religious beliefs freely is taken from people, then their humanity and dignity will be as well.”
Boland urged government action, saying: “It is time for governments and international bodies to highlight the human rights abuses faced by Christians in the Middle East and to respond to them. If they don’t, then Christianity will be wiped out in this region in a systematic and violent way.
“In November, nobody passing Brentwood Cathedral at night will be able to turn a blind eye to it and nobody, believer or non-believer, Christian or non-Christian, should turn a blind eye to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.”
This floodlighting follows a tradition set out by previous public landmarks: on 29 April Rome’s historic Trevi fountain was also dyed red to honour Christian martyrs around the world. This display was also organised by ACN, which hoped it would mark “the start of a long lasting, concrete reaction everywhere so that the persecuted people of the 21st century can as soon as possible return to fully enjoying their natural right to religious freedom”.