Red-lit Cathedral signifies faith persecution amid coronavirus pandemic

26 Nov 2020

By Theresia Titus

Despite coronavirus pandemic, monuments and buildings across the world are illuminated in red light during #RedWeek which started on 18 Nov. Photo: Max Hoh.

St Mary’s Cathedral in Perth WA is one of the buildings illuminated in red light this week in support of a global cause for the gift of religious freedom for those who are persecuted because of their Christian faith.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, #RedWeek 2020, a campaign initiated to draw attention to the persecution of Christians all over the world, still takes place this year from 18 to 25 November.

“COVID-19 may have brought many changes, but Christians continue to be the most persecuted religious community in the world. Cathedrals, churches and public buildings will be illuminated in red light in many countries across four continents to raise awareness about this painful fact, and offer a large number of initiatives online,” confirmed Thomas Heine-Geldern, Executive President of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

An initiative launched by the international pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), #RedWeek provides the opportunity for a charity that supports the sufferings endured by more than 250 million Christians all over the world.

Perth’s St Mary’s Cathedral floodlit red in solidarity for persecuted Christians. Photo: Max Hoh.

“Red Wednesday is quite significant this year as the persecution of Christians is only getting worse. Red Wednesday is an opportunity to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ,” ACN Communication Coordinator Teresa Hodal told The eRecord.

“The purpose of Red Wednesday is to join and raise a strong voice in support of Christians who are unable to speak freely. Also, because ACN has been running this campaign for a few years now, it has gained worldwide attention and participation.

“Here in Australia, participation in Red Wednesday is slowly taking effect with at least a small number of cathedrals and churches taking part,” she added.

The initiative will begin in Austria this year, with a Mass held on Wednesday 18 November at red-lit St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. The red spotlight shines on almost 50 participating Austrian Churches and state institutions such as the Austrian parliament in Vienna. 

This year the initiative is also calling upon hospitals to take part.

This year, the initiative began in Austria with a Mass on 18 November for persecuted Christians at red-lit St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Photo: Max Hoh.

“It is important that Red Wednesday is held annually as tragically today, there are millions of people who are robbed of their religious freedom and persecuted for their beliefs. Each of us who has the freedom to practice our faith has an added duty to stand up for those who do not, and Red Wednesday gives the world this opportunity,” Ms Hodal explained.

“Christians continue to be the most persecuted religious community in the world, and COVID-19 has made it worse as many churches have been closed.

“In many under developing countries, their Churches was also the place where many people received food and support, and now, they are forced to endure worsening economic conditions. Therefore, persecuted Christians who were already struggling are now left with little to support their own families,” she concluded.