The decision for the iconic building in central London to go red on the evening of Wednesday 22 November was made jointly by John Bercow MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and Lord Fowler, Speaker of the House of Lords.
Both Speakers were lobbied by parliamentarians, many of whom had been contacted by constituents inspired by #RedWednesday’s message of religious tolerance.
Among those calling for Parliament to turn red was Trevor Harrison, from Sevenoaks, who wrote to his MP, Sir Michael Fallon.
Responding to news that his request had been granted, he said he contacted his MP after attending an event in Parliament organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief – itself a supporter of #RedWednesday.
Speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, which is organising #RedWednesday in partnership with Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Mr Harrison said: “Turning Parliament red is a wonderful way to get the message about religious freedom to as wide an audience as possible.”
“We all need to get behind #RedWednesday – we need to stand together against violence carried out in the name of religion – we need to speak up about regimes which persecute people of faith.”
This will be the second year running that Parliament will turn red for #RedWednesday.
So far this year, at least ten cathedrals across the UK have pledged to floodlight red, including London’s Westminster Cathedral and others in Ayr, Edinburgh, Paisley, Birmingham, Norwich, Wrexham, Derry and Armagh.
In total, nearly 50 public buildings are expected to get behind #RedWednesday – schools, colleges and churches including London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields and All Souls, Langham Place.
There will be a week of events from 19-26 November with #RedWednesday as the highlight and parishes will be holding vigils.
At 6pm on 22 November, a solidarity service will take place outside Westminster Cathedral, with talks, witness testimonies, a video message by MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, music and speeches by Coptic Orthodox Bishop Angaelos, Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director, Aid to the Church in Need (UK) and Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Throughout the day, a traditional London red bus emblazoned with #RedWednesday slogans will be criss-crossing the capital, stopping at London landmarks.
For information about #RedWednesday on 22 November and attend #RedWednesday events including joining the London bus and attending the 6pm event outside Westminster Cathedral, click here.