Old Joe turns red for global victims of faith persecution
The University of Birmingham’s iconic clock tower ‘Old Joe’ turns red tomorrow (Weds) in memory of people around the world who have been killed for their faith.
Birmingham’s landmark tower joins the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral on a list of iconic buildings adopting red lighting.
The nationwide gesture is part of the ‘Red Wednesday’ campaign organised by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
Professor Michael Whitby, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham, said: “No university, synagogue or Mosque should come under pressure on grounds of belief. As a global civic university in the 21st century, the University of Birmingham has a responsibility to support the diversity of both our home city and the wider world.
“In turning Old Joe red we demonstrate our solidarity with anyone persecuted for their faith. We hope to give them some comfort that their cry has been heard and we are taking a small step to highlight the persecution of millions of people because of their beliefs.”
Dozens of other buildings, including churches, synagogues and mosques across the UK are lighting their buildings red tomorrow to mark the occasion. These include Brentwood Cathedral and the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John's Wood, as well as the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Stevenage and Bolton Town Hall.
Students from schools across the UK will mark Red Wednesday by wearing an item of red clothing and holding prayer services and other activities in support of people suffering for their faith.
ACN is also inviting everyone, and especially schools, groups, and university students to wear red – as a symbol of the suffering today of people of faith.
For more information, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165.
Notes to Editors
- The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.