#Redweek: We defend religious freedom from different countries

In November red light will bathe hundreds of cathedrals, churches, monuments and public buildings around the world. This is an international campaign to raise awareness of the persecution of Christians and the need for religious freedom.

The idea to light a building in red first came from ACN Brazil: in October 2015 the Statue of Christ, the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro was illuminated in red on the occasion of the visit of Pater Douglas from Iraq. In April 2016 ACN Italia copied this idea and lit the Fontana di Trevi in red. ACN UK took the idea further and created #RedWednesday to commemorate all persecuted Christians on a specific November Wednesday. In November 2016 the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Brentwood Cathedral, St George’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, St John’s Wood Synagogue and the Imam Khoei Islamic Centre in London were among hundreds of public buildings which were illuminated in blood-red light, in an act of solidarity with those around the world suffering persecution because of their faith.

Now this initiative is spreading worldwide. Below you may find a compilation of the events that ACN is organising in different countries:


  • Schools in 6 Dioceses who will wear red, holding prayer events and fundraising for Aid to the Church in Need’s projects. In particularly they have enthusiastically embraced the concept of “going to Mass for someone who can’t”.
  • 3 cathedrals (Sydney, Hobart and Melbourne) participating in lighting up the cathedrals in red, as well as a Mass or prayer service.


  • This year around 100 churches will be lit up in red. ACN Austria has already received a promise from the President of the Parliament that the Parliament’s building will be illuminated in red again this year.
  • There will be a Service for Red Wednesday on November 17th at 7pm at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.

Belgium – Luxemburg
24th November

  • The office of ACN Belgium/Luxemburg near the Norbertine Abbey will be lit up in red.
  • Fr. Gideon Obasogie from Nigeria, Maiduguri will give his testimony, and meet benefactors and major donors.
  • Journalists can interview him and ACN will also interview him and broadcast it on the Flemish- and French-speaking Catholic radios.
  • There’ll be a prayer moment and the occasion to light a candle for persecuted Christians.

26th November

  •  Eucharist, celebrated by Fr. Gideon, together with priests from Nigeria who are studying in Leuven with an ACN scholarship, and benefactors.

17th November


  • St Michaels Cathedral will be lit in red.
  • A Vigil presided by Archbishop Thomas Collins will start at 18:30h.
  • Other eparchies will be invited.
  • Memory of the sacrifice of the martyrs.


  • Mass led by Bishop Lépine at Mary Queen of the World Basilica at 19:30.
  • An African Choir (Choir of Angels) will sing parts of the Zairean liturgy at Mary Queen of the World Basilica.
  • Mary Queen of the World Basilica – Cathedral of Montreal will be lit in red.
  • The Embassy of Hungary and The Basilica of Our Lady of Cape Town (Canada’s largest Marian shrine) will lit in red their buildings.

Launch of the “Hear Her Cries” report; a French translation of the report will be provided.

Bosnia Herzegowina

24th of November

  • Cathedral in Sarajevo will be illuminated in red.


  • Sister Maria de Guadalupe Rodrigo (an Argentinian missionary living in Aleppo, Syria, since 2011) will give talks in different places on “Persecuted Women for their faith”.

Czech Republic

24th November

  • This will be the fourth commemoration of Red Wednesday along with ACN. Under the patronage of  the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Czech Bishops’ Conference, the Ecumenical Council of Churches and the Federation of Jewish Communities around 50 buildings will be lit in red.
  • An international conference at the Charles University, organized by the Institute for Christian Democratic Politics, will take place in Prague. It is held under the auspices of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Jakub Kulhánek, and the rector of the Charles University, Mr. Prof. Tomáš Zima. There will be a Jewish-Christian prayer, a procession and a Red Wednesday concert: more than 100 parishes, congregations, churches, synagogues and public institutions are expected to participate from all over the country.

24th November

  • Highlight the Basilic of Montmartre in red.
  • A vigil of prayers in the evening following by a Holy Mass.
  • A press conference with the French Bishops Conference with focus on the Sahel.


The whole month of November

  • Action on anational level to encourage parishes to participate in the Red Week. Around 100 churches have confirmed participation.
  • There is an exhibition on persecuted Christians traveling around different parishes.

26th November

  • Kaiserswerth: Event with Father Luigi Maccalli, an Italian priest who was abducted in Mali by jihadist insurgents.


  • Launch of the “Hear Her Cries” report on ACN Ireland’s website on 24th November.
  • A downloadable parish pack is available on ACN Ireland’s Week of Witness webpage for use by parishes and volunteer groups.
  • The Primate of All Ireland, the Archbishop of Armagh, will be holding a special Red Wednesday liturgy in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
  • ACN Ireland gave out 1,200 rosary beads out to schools in Dublin, they will have the children take part in “prayer for the persecuted” during the week.
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh, St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Dublin, Holy Trinity Cathedral Waterford and the basilica at Knock International Eucharistic and Marian Shrine will be lit red. That covers Ireland’s four provinces.

24th November at 20:00

  • Online meeting with participating churches.

24th November

  • This will be the country’s second institutionalized celebration of the initiative, after it was approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 2020. This means that all 72 Dioceses, 16 Ecclesiastical Provinces, 7 Apostolic Vicariates and 1 Military Ordinariate are expected to take part. ACN Philippines has invited and encouraged all Catholic institutions – schools and hospitals included – to participate too.
  • The main celebration of Red Wednesday in the Philippines will be held in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Diocese of Pasig. Most Rev. Mylo Hurbert Vergara, Bishop of Pasig and the upcoming Vice-President of CBCP, will be the main celebrant on the evening of November 24.

24th November

  • The monument of the Santuário de Cristo Rei, which is on the Tagus, in front of the City of Lisbon and other parish churches will be lit up in red .

17th-24th November

Launch of ACN UK’s “Hear Her Cries” report.


  • Lighting up of major buildings across Slovakia on 24th November.
  • ACN Slovakia is providing a manual to parishing on how to light up their buildings in red, together with materials reflecting on the “Hear Her Cries” report main findings.
  • Appeal to young Catholics with a large social media following to participate in #RedWeek by publishing a few educational posts and creating a buzz around Red Wednesday (24th November).


Switzerland – Liechtenstein
In the German- and Italian-speaking area

  • Father Georges Aboud from Libanon will visit Wädenswil.
  • The cathedrals in Lugano and Vaduz will be lit up in red.

In the French-speaking area

  • Patriarch em. Gregorios III Laham from Syria will celebrate different services: one in the cathedral of Sion and another one in Lausanne in the center of Arzillie.
  • The Cathedral of Sion, as well as the churches of Les Agettes and Salins and others in the area of Orsières will be lit up in red.
  • Other parises will do their own activities during Red Week; ACN’s exhibiton about persecuted Christians is being displayed busy in various parishes – including a Protestant one.

United Kingdom

  • ACN UK has produced a report – Hear Her Cries – looking at the abduction, forced marriage and forced conversion of Christian girls and young women subjected to sexual violence.


  • Piano Recital / Sponsored Walk for trauma counselling of widows & orphans on Tuesday 16th.
  • Art Competition Preview.
  • 24th November: Red Wednesday.


24th November

  • Launch of the report “Hear Her Cries” at the Parliament (2:00 – 4:00pm)
  • Action: Hand over petition to Fiona Bruce to present the report to Government and UN
  • Westminster Cathedral Gathering at 5:00pm following by Holy Mass
  • Westminster Hall Event (7:00 – 9:00pm)
  • Westminster Cathedral and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth building will be lit red.

25th November

  • UN Rally – Photo Opportunity on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Poznań and Szczecin (20th of November – 17:00-17:55h)

  • ACN’s Regional Office and the local Catholic communities are organising a two-stage event as part of #RedWeek 2021:
    1. March of Silence – a 15-minute march through the city centre of Poznań, with red lanterns, symbolising the memory of Christians killed out of hatred for their faith. March slogan: “Killed in silence”.
    2. A 30-minute gathering on the square in front of the red-lit Jesuit Church in Poznan. The programme: prayer, testimonies and the Bishop’s blessing.
    Honorary patronage: Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

22nd November

  • Maronite Cathedral Aleppo will be illuminated in red. A team from ACN will be present.

21st November

  • The Greek Catholic Cathedral in Kiev will be lit up in red.
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Que signifie pour vous cette visite ?

La visite du Pape nous remontera le moral, plus que toute autre chose. Tous les yeux de la planète seront dirigés vers Baghdeda. Le monde saura ainsi ce qui est arrivé à cette ville : les terribles destructions et la migration forcée. Ce serait également bien si nous recevions ensuite un peu plus d’aide et de soutien. Cette visite est très importante pour nous qui sommes ici, surtout après l’énorme migration forcée de tant des nôtres. Cette visite signifie que nous ne sommes pas seuls et qu’il y a des gens qui prient pour nous. Cela nous donnera de l’espoir, nous encouragera à rester dans notre pays et à ne pas le quitter.

Qu’aimeriez-vous dire au Saint-Père ?

Si j’ai l’occasion de le rencontrer, je voudrais le remercier pour sa visite qui nous rend très heureux, et pour ses prières. Je tiens également à le remercier pour toute l’aide qu’il nous a procurée ces derniers temps. Je n’oublie pas sa grande solidarité et le geste qu’il a fait en vendant aux enchères la Lamborghini qu’on lui avait donnée pour soutenir avec l’argent récolté la reconstruction de la plaine de Ninive. Je voudrais aussi qu’il continue à prier pour nous afin que la paix arrive en Irak.

Qu’aimeriez-vous lui montrer à Qaraqosh/Baghdeda ? Que devrait-il visiter ?

Je voudrais lui montrer l’église historique Al-Tahira et des photos de Baghdeda, je voudrais qu’il voie comment l’État Islamique l’a détruite et comment les gens d’ici ont eu le courage de la reconstruire.

¿Qué significa la visita para usted?
La visita del Papa levantará el ánimo y la moral, más que cualquier otra cosa. Todos los ojos del mundo se dirigirán a Baghdeda. Así, el mundo sabrá lo que le sucedió a esta ciudad. La terrible destrucción y la migración forzada. También sería bueno si luego recibimos más ayuda y apoyo. Esta visita es realmente importante para nosotros, los que estamos aquí, especialmente después de la enorme migración forzada de tantos de los nuestros. La visita significa que no estamos solos y hay quienes rezan por nosotros. Esto nos dará esperanza, nos animará a permanecer en nuestra tierra y no dejarla.

¿Qué le gustaría decirle al santo padre?
Si tengo la oportunidad de encontrarme con él: quiero agradecerle su visita, que nos hace muy felices, y su oración. También quiero darle las gracias por todo lo que nos ha ayudado durante el último periodo. No me olvido de su gran solidaridad y del gesto de subastar el Lamborghini para apoyar con ese dinero la reconstrucción de la llanura de Nínive. También quiero que siga orando por nosotros para que la paz llegue a Irak.

¿Qué le gustaría mostrarle en Baghdeda /Qaraqosh? ¿Qué debería visitar?
Quiero mostrarle la histórica iglesia Al-Tahira y fotos de Baghdeda, quiero que vea cómo fue destruida por ISIS y cómo la gente de aquí ha sido tan fuerte para reconstruirla nuevamente.

Was bedeutet der Besuch für Sie?
Der Besuch des Papstes wird die Stimmung und die Moral heben, mehr als alles andere. Alle Augen der Welt werden auf Baghdida gerichtet sein. Dann wird die Welt erfahren, was mit dieser Stadt passiert ist, die schreckliche Zerstörung und die erzwungene Migration. Es wäre auch gut, wenn wir anschließend mehr Hilfe und Unterstützung bekommen würden. Dieser Besuch ist wirklich wichtig für uns hier, besonders nach der großen Zwangsmigration so vieler unserer Leute. Der Besuch bedeutet, dass wir nicht allein sind, und dass es Menschen gibt, die für uns beten. Das wird uns Hoffnung geben, es wird uns ermutigen, in unserem Land zu bleiben und es nicht zu verlassen.

Was würden Sie dem Heiligen Vater gerne sagen?
Wenn ich die Gelegenheit habe, ihn zu treffen: Ich möchte ihm für seinen Besuch, der uns sehr glücklich macht, und für sein Gebet danken. Ich möchte mich auch bei ihm für alles bedanken, was uns in der letzten Zeit geholfen hat. Ich werde nie seine große Solidarität vergessen sowie die Geste, den Lamborghini zu versteigern (siehe Link zur Meldung), um mit diesem Geld den Wiederaufbau der Ninive-Ebene zu unterstützen. Ich möchte auch, dass er weiterhin für uns betet, damit im Irak Frieden einkehrt.

Was möchten Sie ihm in Baghdida /Karakosch zeigen? Was sollte er besuchen?
Ich möchte ihm die historische Al-Tahira-Kirche zeigen und Bilder von Baghdida, ich möchte, dass er sieht, wie alles von ISIS zerstört wurde und welcher Kraft die Menschen hier es wiederaufgebaut haben.

What does the Pope’s visit mean to you?
The papal visit will lift up our spirits and morale more than anything else. All the eyes of the world will be on Baghdeda. And in this way the world will know what happened to this city. The terrible destruction and the forcible ethnic cleansing. It will also be a good thing if afterwards we get more support and help. This visit is really important to us, to those of us who are living here, especially after the massive ethnic cleansing and expulsion of so many of us. His visit means that we are not alone and that there are people who are praying for us. This will give us fresh hope and encourage us to persevere, here on our own soil, and not leave it.

What would you like to say to the Holy Father?
If I get the opportunity to meet him, I would like to be able to thank him for his visit, which has made us very happy, and for his prayers. I would also like to thank him for all he has done to help us in recent times. I have not forgotten his great gesture of solidarity in auctioning the Lamborghini in order to use the money to help pay for the reconstruction of our homes on the Niniveh plains. I would also like to ask him to continue praying for us and for peace to return to Iraq.

What would you like to show him in Qaraqosh/ Baghdeda? Which places should he visit?
I would like to show him our historic Al-Tahira church, and some photos of Baghdeda. I’d like him to be able to see how it was destroyed by IS and how the people here have worked so hard recently to rebuild it once more.

Qu’est-ce que cette visite signifie pour vous ?

La visite du Pape est ce que nous désirions le plus ici. C’est une grande bénédiction. Nous avons un grand désir de le voir. Ce qui rajoute de l’importance à cette visite, c’est la situation de vulnérabilité que nous, chrétiens, subissons en Irak. Il y a plusieurs raisons à cette fragilité, toutes sont les séquelles de l’État Islamique. Toutes ces destructions ont grandement contribué à l’émigration des chrétiens. De nombreux problèmes pèsent sur nous. Mais par sa visite, le Pape nous donnera de l’espérance et de la confiance, il nous encouragera et réduira notre fardeau. Bien que la situation soit instable en Irak en ce qui concerne la sécurité, tout spécialement dans le domaine politique, on s’attend à ce qu’à l’arrivée du Pape, sa sécurité soit correctement assurée.

Qu’aimeriez-vous dire au Saint-Père ?

Je voudrais lui demander de me donner sa bénédiction, de bénir mon travail et le dévouement des prêtres d’ici, et de bénir le peuple par ses prières. Je voudrais lui demander d’aider tous ceux qui sont en danger dans ce pays, qu’ils soient chrétiens ou musulmans. Qu’il tente de mobiliser les pays du monde entier pour soutenir ce pays qui a besoin d’aide.

Qu’aimeriez-vous lui montrer à Qaraqosh/Baghdeda ? Que devrait-il visiter ?

J’aimerais qu’il visite l’église Al-Tahira, parce que c’est un symbole et un élément du patrimoine de Baghdeda. Cette église est la mère, le foyer et le patrimoine de chacun des habitants de Baghdeda. Nos ancêtres ont construit cette église, nous avons tous le sentiment d’en faire partie. Bien sûr, nous serions heureux qu’il visite de nombreux endroits, des églises, monastères et maisons traditionnelles, et qu’il rencontre également beaucoup de gens qui ont le désir de le voir.

¿Qué significa la visita para usted?
La visita del Papa es lo que más hemos deseado aquí. Es una gran bendición. Sentimos un gran anhelo de verlo. Lo que agrega importancia a esta visita son las condiciones tan vulnerables que sufrimos los cristianos en Irak. Hay varios motivos para esa fragilidad, todas las secuelas que ha dejado el ISIS, esa enorme destrucción ha llevado en gran medida a la emigración de cristianos. Muchos problemas pesan sobre nosotros. Pero cuando nos visite, nos dará esperanza, confianza y aliento y reducirá esta carga. Además del hecho de que la situación de seguridad en Irak, especialmente la política, es inestable, se espera que a la llegada del Papa se garantice su seguridad de manera correcta.

¿Qué le gustaría decirle al santo padre?
Querría pedirle que me dé su bendición, que bendiga mi servicio y la entrega de los sacerdotes aquí y que bendiga al pueblo a través de sus plegarias. Le pido que ayude a todos los que están en peligro en este país, ya sean cristianos o musulmanes. Que intente movilizar a los países del mundo para que apoyen a este país que necesita ayuda.

 ¿Qué le gustaría mostrarle en Baghdeda / Qaraqosh? ¿Qué debería visitar?
Me encantaría que visite la iglesia Al-Tahira, porque es símbolo y patrimonio de Baghdeda. Esta iglesia es madre, hogar y herencia de cada uno de los habitantes de Baghdeda. Nuestros antepasados ​​construyeron esta iglesia, todos nos sentimos parte de ella. Ciertamente, nos alegraría que visitara muchos lugares, iglesias, monasterios y casas tradicionales,  también que vea a muchas personas que anhelan verlo.

Was bedeutet der Besuch für Sie?
Der Besuch des Papstes ist das, was wir uns hier am meisten gewünscht haben. Es ist ein großer Segen. Wir spüren eine starke Sehnsucht, ihn zu sehen. Was diesen Besuch noch wichtiger macht, sind die äußerst prekären Bedingungen, unter denen wir Christen im Irak leiden. Es gibt mehrere Gründe für diese Zerbrechlichkeit. All die Folgen, die ISIS hinterlassen hat, diese enorme Zerstörung hat in großem Maße zur Auswanderung von Christen geführt. Viele Probleme lasten auf uns. Aber wenn er uns besucht, wird er uns Hoffnung, Zuversicht und Ermutigung geben und diese Last verringern. Auch wenn die Sicherheitslage im Irak, insbesondere die politische Situation, instabil ist, hoffen wir, dass bei der Ankunft des Papstes seine Sicherheit ausreichend gewährleistet ist.


Was würden Sie dem Heiligen Vater gerne sagen?
Ich möchte ihn bitten, mir seinen Segen zu geben, meinen Dienst und die Hingabe der Priester hier zu segnen und die Menschen durch seine Gebete zu segnen. Ich bitte ihn, all jenen zu helfen, die in diesem Land in Gefahr sind, ob sie nun Christen oder Muslime sind; und die Länder der Welt zu mobilisieren, um dieses Land, das Hilfe braucht, zu unterstützen.

Was möchten Sie ihm in Baghdida / Karakosch zeigen? Was sollte er besuchen?
Ich möchte, dass er die Al-Tahira-Kirche besucht, denn sie ist ein Symbol und Erbe von Baghdida. Diese Kirche ist die Mutter, die Heimat und das Vermächtnis eines jeden einzelnen Menschen in Baghdida. Unsere Vorfahren haben diese Kirche erbaut, wir alle fühlen uns als Teil von ihr. Sicherlich würden wir uns freuen, wenn er viele Orte, Kirchen, Klöster und traditionelle Häuser besuchen würde, und auch, wenn er viele Menschen treffen würde, die sich danach sehnen, ihn zu sehen.

What does the visit mean to you?
The papal visit is the thing we have longed for most of all here. It will be a great blessing. We have a great yearning to see him. What gives added importance to this visit is the so very vulnerable situation that we are suffering as Christians in Iraq. There are many reasons for this vulnerability, including the aftermath of what IS left behind, the enormous destruction which has led in such large measure to the emigration of the Christians. There are many problems weighing on us. But when he comes to visit us, he will give us new hope and confidence and some relief from this burden. In addition there is the fact that the security situation in Iraq, and especially the political situation, is so unstable, so we are hoping that when the Pope does arrive they will guarantee his security in the way that they should.


What would you like to say to the Holy Father?
I would like to ask him to give me his blessing, to bless my ministry and the hard work of all the priests here, and also to bless all the people through his prayers. I would ask him to help all those in danger in this country, whether they are Christians or Muslims. And that he might strive to encourage the countries of the world to support this nation, which is truly in need.

What would you like to show him in Qaraqosh/ Baghdeda? What places ought he to visit?
I would love him to visit the Al-Tahira church, because it is a symbol and a rich cultural legacy of Baghdeda. This church is the mother, the home and the inheritance of every one of the inhabitants of Baghdeda. Our forefathers built this church, and we all feel we are a part of it. Of course, we would be happy for him to visit many different places – churches, monasteries and traditional homes – and also for him to be able to meet all the many people who are longing to see him.

Que signifie pour vous cette visite ?

Elle a une valeur morale, et non pas économique. Cette question occupera l’opinion publique mondiale, et tout spécialement irakienne. J’ai l’impression d’y tenir une place importante.


Qu’aimeriez-vous dire au Saint-Père ?

Ce sera formidable de faire sa connaissance, et je voudrais lui dire : « Nous avons besoin d’une protection internationale parce que notre communauté chrétienne a subi une migration forcée ».

Qu’aimeriez-vous lui montrer à Qaraqosh/Baghdeda ? Que devrait-il visiter ?

J’aimerais lui montrer les églises et les maisons brûlées, afin qu’il voie les dégâts que l’État Islamique a laissés derrière lui dans cette ville. Et aussi notre Musée du patrimoine de Baghdeda pour lui présenter notre histoire et notre culture.

¿Qué significa la visita para usted?
La visita tiene un valor moral, no económico. Este tema ocupará la opinión pública en el mundo y especialmente en Irak. Siento que tengo un lugar importante en él.


¿Qué le gustaría decirle al santo padre?
Será genial conocerlo y querría decirle “necesitamos protección internacional, porque nuestra comunidad cristiana ha sufrido una migración forzada”.

¿Qué le gustaría mostrarle en Baghdeda /Qaraqosh? ¿Qué debería visitar?
Me gustaría mostrarle las iglesias y las casas quemadas, para que vea el daño que dejó ISIS en esta ciudad. Y también nuestro Museo del patrimonio de Baghdeda para presentarle nuestro historia y cultura.

Was bedeutet der Besuch für Sie?
Der Besuch hat einen moralischen Wert, keinen wirtschaftlichen. Er wird die öffentliche Meinung in der Welt und insbesondere im Irak beherrschen. Ich habe das Gefühl, dass ich einen wichtigen Anteil daran habe.

Was würden Sie dem Heiligen Vater gerne sagen?
Es wird großartig sein, ihn zu treffen, und ich möchte ihm sagen: „Wir brauchen internationalen Schutz, weil unsere christliche Gemeinschaft unter der erzwungenen Auswanderung gelitten hat“.

Was möchten Sie ihm in Baghdida /Karakosch zeigen? Was sollte er besuchen?
Ich möchte ihm die Kirchen und ausgebrannten Häuser zeigen, damit er den Schaden sieht, den ISIS in dieser Stadt angerichtet hat. Und auch unser Heimatmuseum in Baghdida, um ihm unsere Geschichte und Kultur näher zu bringen.

What does this visit mean to you?
This visit has a moral value rather than an economic one. This is a topic that will engage public opinion around the world and especially in Iraq. I feel as though I have an important part to play in it.

What would you like to say to the Holy Father?

It would be wonderful to be able to meet him, and I would like to be able to say to him, “We need international protection, because our Christian community was forcibly displaced.”

What would you like to show him in Qaraqosh/ Baghdeda? What places should he visit?
I would like to be able to show him the churches and houses that were burnt out, so that he could see the destruction left behind by IS in this city. And also our Baghdeda Heritage Museum, so that we can show him our history and culture.