March23 , 2023

    Buildings Lit Red to Highlight Christian Persecution


    Churches in Malawi Respond with Shelter and Food After Deadly Cyclone

    The longest-ever recorded cyclone in history---lasting 36 days, hit southeast Africa and killed 522, injured more than 700 people, and left more than 345,000 people homeless.

    France Celebrates Bible Month

    This year's theme is "Solidarity in the light of the Bible" and more than 200 bookstores and libraries are joining.

    New Women’s Audio Bible Launched in the UK

    The first-ever audio Bible recorded solely by UK women launched on March 8, coinciding with International Women's Day.

    Notre Dame to Re-open in December 2024

    French officials announced that one of the country's most iconic buildings will welcome visitors and faithful by December 2024.

    Pilgrimages Can Help Unchurched Travelers

    A travel website predicts that pilgrimages will be one of the biggest travel trends in 2023.


    Churches and other landmarks all over the world were lit up red on November 27 in support of Red Wednesday.

    Charity organization, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), organized the first Red Wednesday in 2016 to draw attention to the persecution of Christians. Red, the color of blood, symbolizes martyrdom in Christianity and is associated with Jesus’ death on the cross, reports Aleteia.

    Different religions lead to differences in behavior, cultural norms and attitudes. Religious literacy, when trying to understand the world, is a must. —Fionn Shiner, Aid to the Church in Need’s Parliamentary and Press Officer

    In addition to highlighting the plight of Christian minorities, Red Wednesday encourages people to make a stand for religious freedom.

    In the UK, 120 buildings were bathed in red light, including London’s Westminster Cathedral, while more than 2,000 parishes in the Philippines supported the campaign.

    ACN published a report this year warning that persecution is so severe in Iraq and Syria that Christianity may be extinct soon. Christians are leaving their homes to seek refuge elsewhere. In other countries, persecution amounts to ethnic cleansing and genocide, reports The Christian Institute.

    “While there is an attitude in Western countries that religion is a settled issue, unimportant to how people live their lives, in most of the world religion is still incredibly important,” said ACN’s Parliamentary and Press Officer Fionn Shiner.

    The UK’s Foreign Office published a report, endorsed by the Bishop of Truro, recommending several policies to protect Christians. These include mandatory religious literacy training for its staff, funds to help persecuted Christians, and allowing UN observers to monitor security measures to safeguard religious minorities.

    “Different religions lead to differences in behavior, cultural norms and attitudes. Religious literacy, when trying to understand the world, is a must,” Shiner commented.

    In an interview with Crux, Shiner disclosed that ACN wants the UN to provide refugee camps in Iraq and Syria. “Our reports indicate that Christians are sometimes not allowed into the UN refugee camps and if they do manage to gain access, they are often subject to violence, intimidation, humiliation and persecution inside the camps themselves.”

    The violence in the two countries threatens the ancient Christian population. In Iraq, there is a sharp decline in the Christian population from 1.5 million to around 150,000 in 15 years.

    Shiner said the international community should help in rebuilding Christian communities in the Middle East and “bring the perpetrators of atrocities in Iraq and Syria to justice.”