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Churches to turn red in support of persecution victims

Iraqi Christian residents of Qaraqosh (also known as Hamdaniya), visit the heavily damaged Church of the Immaculate Conception on April 9, 2017, as Christians celebrate the first Palm Sunday event in the town since Iraqi forces recaptured it from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists - AFP

Iraqi Christian residents of Qaraqosh (also known as Hamdaniya), visit the heavily damaged Church of the Immaculate Conception on April 9, 2017, as Christians celebrate the first Palm Sunday event in the town since Iraqi forces recaptured it from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists - AFP

06/11/2017 17:00

(Vatican Radio) Catholic schools and churches across the United Kingdom will be floodlit red to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians across the world.

At least ten cathedrals will take part in the #RedWednesday initiative organised by the Aid to the Church in Need charity on November 22 which aims to promote faith and tolerance in society, stand in solidarity with victims of persecution, and oppose violence and oppression carried out in the name of religion.

Organisers – who chose red to symbolise martyrdom and suffering – are appealing for public buildings to be floodlit on the day. Among the schools and churches that have already pledged to take part are England’s National Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham, Cardinal Newman High School, Bellshill, St Columba’s Church, Inverness, and St Joseph’s, Pontefract.

Patricia Hatton from ACN said: “#RedWednesday is a unique opportunity to stand up for faith and freedom in this country and around the world and to shine a light on the persecution of Christians and other faith groups today.

“Together let’s make a stand for faith and freedom and help Christians and others – especially in the Middle East – who urgently need our support this Christmas.”

The charity is inviting people to a prayer service in Westminster Cathedral Piazza on November 22 at 6pm, which will be preceded by music, film and personal testimonies. They ask for those attending to wear something red.

For more information, visit acnuk.org/campaign/redwednesday

(Richard Paul Marsden)

06/11/2017 17:00