By Christina Hermoso
More than 2,000 Catholic churches and schools around the country will take part in the observance of Red Wednesday today, Nov. 27.
The observance is an expression of support to persecuted Christians in many countries, including the Philippines.
Holy masses will be held in these churches which will be illuminated by red lights. Participants are also encouraged to wear red for the event. At the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila, the Red Wednesday mass will be held at 6:30 p.m.
Red Wednesday is a public awareness campaign for the intention of persecuted Christians around the world. The campaign was started in 2016 by Aid to the Church in Need United Kingdom. England’s famous monuments were lit up in red including the Palace and Cathedral of Westminster among others. The ACN is a Pontifical Foundation established to assist the needs of the Church wherever it is oppressed, persecuted or suffering material need.
In 2017, ACN Philippines launched the Red Wednesday campaign in the country in support of victims of religious persecution which number about 300 million today.
Marawi Bishop Edwin Dela Peña stressed the need for religious freedom anywhere in the world.
“We need religious freedom that people be allowed to exercise their religion in a way that they have always been guided by their faith commitment,” Dela Peña said over Church-run Radio Veritas. The bishop was himself a victim of religious persecution during the Marawi siege in 2017.
“This is one opportunity not only for Christians but also for other religious minority groups that have been persecuted,” he said.