On 25 November cathedrals and other prominent buildings across the world will be bathed in red light to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians. Red Wednesday is an initiative from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), and its aim is to draw attention to the plight of millions of Christians who are living in environments where they are violently persecuted, discriminated against and prevented from practicing their Faith.
Despite being in the midst of a global pandemic, the persecution of Christians and religious minorities continues across the world.
The purpose of Red Wednesday is to join in solidarity in support of those who are persecuted, and to speak for those around the world who look to Christans in free countries to speak on their behalf.
The German-based pontifical foundation ACN, which supports Christians in 140 countries, cites research by the Dutch foundation Open Doors, estimating 260 million Christians world-wide were persecuted for their faith in 2019.
Last year, the facade of St Patrick’s Cathedral was illuminated in a red glow, one of the first in the world (thanks to Australia’s time zone difference) to launch.
Red Wednesday participants are asked to pray for persecuted Christians, to wear red in honour of the Martyrs of the Faith and to share a picture on social media with the hashtag #RedWednesday.
Melbourne Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli said: ‘Daily across the world, many of our brothers and sisters continue to suffer deeply through injustice and persecution in the name of Christ. As they choose to remain close to Him, so we choose to remain close to them – in solidarity for the courageous witness they model. We are proud to be #RedWednesday Champions.’
National director of Aid to the Church in Need Bernard Toutounji said he was grateful to all those that supported Red Wednesday.
‘It was incredible to see the photos of so many cathedrals around Australia lit up in red. It sends a strong message to our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ that we have not forgotten them.’
Melbourne Catholic20 September 2023
Christian Bergmann20 September 2023