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
- 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.
- Eucharist, celebrated by Fr. Gideon, together with priests from Nigeria who are studying in Leuven with an ACN scholarship, and benefactors.
- 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.
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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 .
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Maronite Cathedral Aleppo will be illuminated in red. A team from ACN will be present.
- The Greek Catholic Cathedral in Kiev will be lit up in red.