Friday, 22 November 2019 06:21

RED WEDNESDAY campaign slated on Nov. 27

The Red Wednesday campaign of the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) will mark its third year of creating awareness about the plight of persecuted Christians around the world.

On November 27, Kalookan Bishop Virgilio Pablo David will preside the Holy Eucharist in celebration of Red Wednesday at the Manila Cathedral, at 6:30 p.m. After the Mass, the facade of cathedrals and parish churches will be illuminated with red lights to honor the persecuted Christians.

According to Jonathan Luciano, National Director of ACN - Philippines, a total of 2,065 parishes are expected to participate. Catholic schools and universities and other institutions have expressed their intent to join the campaign.

There will be campus forums and exhibits on religious freedom and persecution, to be led by the University of Santo Tomas, Adamson University, and the San Carlos Seminary.

In light of the coming Year of Ecumenism, Inter-religious Dialogue, and Religious Peoples as preparation for the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines, Mr. Luciano said that this year’s Red Wednesday campaign will involve Christians from other denominational families and ecumenical groups.

“For the first time, we will be involving our brothers and sisters who belong to different Christian denominations sa liturgical celebration. We will be having an ecumenical prayer right after the Mass, and together we will light up the church as a symbol of a tribute to the martyrs. To the Christian martyrs hindi lang po katoliko ang martyr. There are other Christians who are martyr, evangelical, orthodox, protestants, they also profess that Christ is god,” Mr. Luciano said.

Based on the 2018 Religious Freedom Report, a formal and annual presentation of facts on religious freedom by ACN, there are approximately 300 million Christians in the world who are persecuted and do not have the freedom to practice their faith including the bishops.

“Bishops are also suffering persecution right now. I need not mention it I need not elaborate it. We pray, we continue to pray for our bishops,” he said.

Early this year, Mr. Luciano said that they sent a request to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) requesting Red Wednesday to be an official church celebration in the Philippines.

“Starting next year, hopefully, we pray ma-grant ang request namin because the CBCP Permanent Council generously responded to our request and they said that they will be discussing this matter sa kanilang January plenary assembly next year,” he said.

“It will be on Wednesday after Christ the King. So every November, the Wednesday after Christ the king set aside as the day of prayer for persecuted Christians and the Red Wednesday,” he added.

The Red Wednesday campaign is an initiative of the Aid to Church in Need that creates awareness among Filipino Christians about the severity of Christian persecution and invites everyone “to make a visible statement by wearing red and, if resources allow, light their own parishes or respective buildings or local monuments in red.

ACN is a Pontifical charity organization dedicated to the service of Christians around the world, through information, prayer, and action, wherever they are persecuted or oppressed or suffering material need. (Jheng M. Prado/RCAM-AOC)


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