Shine a light next week
Persecution of Christians is widespread in today’s world. Along with other minority faiths, including Ahmadis, Bahais, Jains, Sufis and Yazidis, we have seen religiously provoked attacks in 20 per cent (one in five) of countries since 2014. (U.N. figures, 2015).
In the last three years, 50,000 Christians have been killed in Southern Sudan. China is closing churches and ripping down crosses, and there are numerous deaths and imprisonments in Pakistan. The Ahmadis are a minority in Pakistan, where 284 were murdered between 1984 and 2015, 323 were victims of attempted murder.
Lord Alton has been working for many years on human rights and religious freedom issues. He recently stated: “Red Wednesday is a chance to show solidarity with the victims of genocide, persecution and discrimination. For too many people, living their faith can cost them their lives. Red Wednesday is a practical way to use the freedoms we enjoy, but which they are denied, to show that we have not forgotten those whose blood is being shed on a daily basis for their faith.”
What, then, is Red Wednesday all about?
A coalition of Christian organisations has come up with an idea to throw a light on these issues. On Wednesday, November 23, the facades of Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey will be lit up brightly in red – Red Wednesday!
We are asked to show our solidarity by wearing something red: to publicise the crisis in the local media; come together for a period of silence or prayer; to write (or email) your MP and others, et cetera.
Will you shine your little light on Red Wednesday?
Lest we forget
There are not many things that happen these days to make us proud to be British but I feel I must make some positive comments about the Festival of Remembrance from the Royal Albert Hall and the Parade at the Cenotaph.
Both events highlighted on BBC 1.
The Albert Hall event was emotional and moving from start to finish.
To see her Majesty and Prince Philip, both in their 90s, standing erect and firmly to attention during the two minutes’ silence on Sunday morning in Whitehall was amazing.
My dearest wish is that, in our schools today, children are reminded of all the wars and sacrifices that were made to give us the peace that we all now enjoy in this very troubled world in which we live.
The danger of drones
The Government is guilty of massive dereliction of duty and endangering public safety by not severely restricting the use and availability of the remote controlled private light aircraft known as drones.
The recent reported near miss over central London makes clear that it is only a matter of time before there is a major disaster and loss of life.
It is reported that there are now two million drones in the country. That is almost two million unnecessary aircraft that are not being employed for any legitimate or necessary reason but merely for recreational and, if HM Prison Service is to be believed, criminal purposes.
I would suggest that the Government should legislate urgently to control their availability and license their use as strictly as the controls applied to handguns.
Neil F Liversidge via email