Landmarks around the country have been bathed in red light to show solidarity with those suffering religious persecution as part of “Red Wednesday”.
The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye were among a number of landmarks around the UK to draw attention to those who are persecuted or killed for their beliefs.
According to Christian charity Open Doors: “Christians are being persecuted in more countries and in more ways than ever before.”
The Red Wednesday campaign has been devised by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
It aims “to honour those who have suffered because of their religion, and stand in solidarity with millions of people, targeted for their beliefs and living in fear”.
Influential blogger Archbishop Cranmer responded to the displays: “Those who suffer or lay down their lives for the Christian faith have always been specially honoured by the Church, but this is the first time that Parliament has turned to blood in solidarity with the witness of the saints.”
He added: “Living with faith should not cost you your life. We must contend earnestly for this freedom”.
In April, the House of Commons voted unanimously to recognise the religious persecution of Christians and other minority faiths in the Middle East as genocide.
This week, ACN, a Roman Catholic charity, published Religious Freedom in the World, a report highlighting “a new phenomenon of religiously-motivated violence” embodied by groups such as Islamic State.
John Pontifex, the report’s editor, said many thousands of people are “being killed or persecuted because of the faith that they profess and this is just not recognised”.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “Freedom of Religion or Belief is a fundamental human right that everyone should be able to enjoy. We are firmly committed to promoting and protecting it across the world”.