The Catholic Church marked November 23 as Red Wednesday to celebrate martyrdom and other Christians who suffered discrimination for reasons of their faith. Manila Bulletin reported that with the observance of the day, it would also be a way to promote the Church in other countries where Christianity is under persecution.
Monsignor Pedro Gerardo Santos of the Aid to the Church in Need Philippines said that 'Red is a significant symbol of martyrdom for those who have risked their lives for their faith.'
Red Wednesday 2022
According to the report, the campaign is said to come from the Aid to the Church in Need - United Kingdom in 2016. For this year, the day's theme is 'Blessed are the Persecuted,' which is apparently a call for support for prosecuted Christian brothers and sisters all over the world.
Churches that observe the special day usually use red lights as lighting for church facades.
Christian Prosecution and Red Wednesday
On the Facebook page of the Quiapo Church, it says that Christians are the most prosecuted religious group in the world. The post said that a study by the Center for New Religions said that there were over 90,000 Christians murdered in 2016. There are also studies that indicate that there are half a billion Christians that are not free to express their faith for various reasons.
As a way to voice out concerns and to stand in solidarity with Christian martyrs, the CAN created the day of observance, Red Wednesday. During its first year on 2016, key buildings, churches, and schools in the United Kingdom lit their institutions in red. This includes Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, Houses of Parliament, and the University of Oxford, to name a few.
Since then, the day has been observed by other countries such as the Philippines, Italy, and Brazil.
Aid to the Church in Need
According to the Aid to the Church in Need - UK, it is the 'Pontifical Foundation of the Catholic Church, supports the Catholic faithful and other Christians where they are persecuted, oppressed, or in pastoral need.
The organization started in 1947 through the instigation of Pope Pius XII. It was founded by the Norbertine priest Father Werenfried van Straaten to meet the needs of post-war refugees. Today, the secretariat of the organization seats at Königstein, Germany.
By 2011, Pope Benedict XVI elevated the international organization to the status of a Pontifical Foundation. Previously, it was a Universal Public Association. At the same time, the pope appointed Cardinal Mauro Piacenza as the President of the foundation.
Every year, the organization funds over 5,000 projects in more than 140 countries around the world for its cause. These projects are helmed by bishops, priests, sisters, and lay people working together with the CAN to give assistance and support.
It includes building churches, providing Bibles, pastoral work, grants and subsidiaries, and other projects.
The ACN does all this to meet their objectives of advancing the Christian religion and furthering other charitable works of the church.