Robert de Berry and other bike pilgrims are currently cycling and praying across southern England in support of CSW and Release International.
Berry, a retired vicar who will also celebrate his 80th birthday this year, led the small group of cyclists on a route across Britain with some stopovers in different Churches every evening to raise awareness of the injustice faced by many Christians throughout the world because of their religious beliefs.
He hopes that the team may "devote themselves to prayer, asking that the mystery of Christ may be broadcast and that people in chains may be able to give unambiguous Christian witness," as Paul did while in jail.
Retired dentist Paul Downes and his Dutch wife Karien participated in this year's biking pilgrimage and they are cycling from the Eastern point of Kent to Land's End and back, a 900+ mile round trip requiring 6 weeks. For Berry and other cyclists, everyone should be able to practice their religion without fear of being persecuted, tortured, or imprisoned.
The first stage of their Bike Pilgrimage begun May 14th in Joss Bay, Isle of Thanet, and ends in Canterbury at St Mary Bredin church. A short commissioning ceremony will be held midday at the car park just below North Foreland lighthouse, led by Dr. Michael Nazir Ali, former Bishop of Rochester, followed by a BYO meal on the grass overlooking the bay.
There will be four cyclists pedaling the entire trip, but several day-riders will join them along the way. They welcome everyone who wants to come along. The cyclists will take a four-day vacation when they reach Land's End, which is expected on June 2nd, to coincide with the Queen's Jubilee celebrations. They plan to return to the North Foreland lighthouse on June 25th.
Supporting Organization Helping Persecuted Christians
Berry intends to raise funds by hiring ten total voyage riders who each raise £3,000 or more, as well as ten stage riders who each raise £500 or more each day. All of the proceed will be in support of Release International and Christian Solidarity Worldwide, two organizations that support persecuted Christians all around the world.
Release International is a Christian organization that assists persecuted Christians through prayer, pastoral care, and practical assistance through local church partners in over 30 countries across the world. They were created in 1968, inspired by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand's testimony and work. Following the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the rise of Christian persecution around the world, the Ministry expanded its scope and renamed itself.
On the other hand, CSW's team of expert advocates works in over 20 countries spanning Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East to uphold and safeguard the right to freedom of religion or belief. Their vision is a world free of religious persecution, in which everyone can practice their preferred religion or belief.
They aim to reform laws, actions, and policies that lead to violations of the right to freedom of religion and belief. They have spent more than three decades working for religious and belief freedom around the world.