Public relations

Whether media relations, events, conferences or campaigns – ACN’s activities and public relations work in 2023 were once again highly diverse. Here we present some of the events organised by the ACN headquarters or some of our 23 national offices.

One million children praying the rosary

The initiative “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” was born in 2005 in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. The aim of this ACN-sponsored prayer campaign is to urge for peace and unity in the world, while encouraging children and young people to trust in God during dificult times. In 2023 more than than one million children from over 90 countries took part in the campaign. These included countries such as Nicaragua, Nigeria, Qatar, Iran, Pakistan and Vietnam.

Praying the rosary for unity and peace at Ivano-Frankivsk Archdiocese, Ukraine
Praying the rosary for unity and peace at Ivano-Frankivsk Archdiocese, Ukraine

In Portugal, the children’s prayer from the Chapel of the Apparitions in the Marian Shrine of Fatima was broadcast live on the internet, radio and television. In Poland, around 70,000 children also took part in the rosary prayer, including in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Zakopane.

Children also prayed the rosary live on two Brazilian television channels. In the Cathedral of Maringá in southern Brazil, some 1,000 children gathered to pray together.

Praying the rosary for unity and peace at Escola Ave Maria, Portugal
Praying the rosary for unity and peace at Escola Ave Maria, Portugal

In Germany, Radio Horeb broadcast an international rosary in which groups of children from Rwanda, Brazil, Lebanon, Portugal and Germany organised the prayer session.

ACN provides parishes, children’s groups and families with a free brochure and posters on praying the rosary in 18 languages.


#RedWeek, also called “Red Wednesday” in some countries, is an initiative that was launched by ACN in 2015 to draw public attention to the plight of persecuted and disadvantaged Christians. Christians are the most persecuted religious community in the world. They ofen live in an environment in which they are violently oppressed, discriminated against or prevented from freely practising their faith.

Red Wednesday mass at St George's Cathedral, Southwark, in London
Red Wednesday mass at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, in London

#RedWeek 2023 took place from 19 to 26 November in more than a dozen countries. Several hundred churches and other symbolic buildings were illuminated in red to draw attention to the persecution of Christians.

The action was recognised by leading politicians, including Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who described #RedWeek in Parliament as “an important moment to demonstrate our solidarity with Christians and all those persecuted around the world for their religion or beliefs”. And he added: “I’m pleased that we will light up Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office buildings in the U.K. in red in support.”

In Rome, several government buildings, including the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies and the Ministry of Foreign Afairs, were also illuminated in red, as were several embassies to the Holy See. Several cathedrals in France were also lit up in red. Prayer and information events were held in Paris, including a prayer vigil in SacréCœur de Montmartre and another for young people in La Trinité.

The parliament building in Vienna
The parliament building in Vienna

But even in countries in which ACN does not have a national office, governments have taken up #RedWeek. The Hungarian government, for example, organised a conference on religious persecution and invited Bishop Wilfred Anagbe from Makurdi, Nigeria. The Czech and Croatian governments also took part in the campaign in a similar way.

The Portuguese ACN national office used #RedWeek in several dioceses of the country to further disseminate ACN’s “Religious Freedom in the World Report”. In 2023, ACN Germany invited guest speakers from Pakistan and Syria. Around 100 churches across the country were illuminated in red. Over 100 parishes also took part in Austria. Here, many churches and public buildings were lit up in red, including the Austrian parliament building.

In Canada, events were held at various locations, including Holy Masses celebrated in the cathedrals of Montreal and Toronto. In Latin America, the ACN national office in Colombia organised talks by missionaries working there. In the Philippines, the Bishops’ Conference invited people to take part in the campaign. In Australia, the Night of the Witnesses was organised in the presence of the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli, in the local cathedral.

“Courage to be a Christian”

Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía handing the 'Courage to Be Christian' award to Margaret and Dominic Attah
Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía handing the ‘Courage to Be Christian’ award to Margaret and Dominic Attah

As part of #RedWeek, on 22 November 2023 at St George’s Cathedral in London, the ACN national ofice of the United Kingdom presented the “Courage to be a Christian” award for the first time. Margaret Attah, who survived an attack on a church in Owo in the Nigerian state of Ondo on Pentecost Sunday 2022 in which 41 Christians were killed, was honoured. Attah lost both legs in the attack. The award ceremony honoured her bravery and faith in the face of the violence and persecution she sufered.

Facts and figures