BY Peter Diamond | August 17 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Catholics called to lobby politicians over Christian persecution

The Church has encouraged Catholics to have councillors light public buildings in red for persecuted Christians in the world

Catholics are being urged to call on their local councillors to light public buildings up for ‘Red Wednesday’ in order to raise support and awareness for persecuted Christians around the world.

Christianity is the most persecuted religion across the globe and on Wednesday November 28, pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) are urging cathedrals, schools and local government buildings to glow red in solidarity.

Bishops William Nolan of Galloway and John Keenan of Paisley have already committed to the campaign, as have South Lanarkshire Council, who will light up Hamilton Townhouse on the day.

Dr John Newton from ACN said: “As Christians—and indeed members of many other religious groups around the world—face death threats, violence and targeted attacks just because of their faith, ‘Red Wednesday’ is a call for everyone to stand up for faith and freedom, to draw attention to the plight of those suffering for their faith.

“We are calling on people to do this both by lighting up places of worship and landmark buildings in red, and also by wearing red on the day. In particular we’re hoping that schools and parishes will get behind Red Wednesday.”

Lay Catholics in Scotland are now being urged to write, email and phone their local councillor or council leader.

“Please do approach your local councillors and ask if they’ll consider lighting up the town hall or some other local landmark in red on Wednesday November 28, to highlight the plight of all those who are suffering discrimination or being attacked because of their religious beliefs,” he said.

Dr Newton said: “We would also be so grateful if Scotland’s churches and cathedrals could be floodlit in red—wherever this is possible. The more that are lit up in red for Red Wednesday, the more we will make people aware of the vast numbers throughout the world suffering for their faith.”

Lorraine McMahon, head of operations for ACN in Scotland, confirmed that South Lanarkshire Council have agreed for Hamilton Townhouse to glow red on November 28.

Ms McMahon said: “Last year was a great success with 12 of our schools participating in Red Wednesday but this year we are hoping to extend that further and have even more.

“We are off to a good start with local authorities too as South Lanarkshire council have agreed to light up their Townhouse red and hopefully even more councils will get on board with the help of public backing.”

Last year Paisley, Galloway and Edinburgh dioceses lit up St Miren’s, St Margaret’s and St Mary’s cathedrals red for ACN and one bishop has already pledged to help the campaign this year.

Bishop William Nolan of Galloway Diocese said: “We will be lighting up St Margaret’s Cathedral in Ayr once again for Red Wednesday as we believe it’s a good initiative that deserves to be supported.

“Of course, not every church has floodlighting but I would encourage those that do to consider lighting red on November 28. Hopefully we will see other denominations get behind the campaign and raise awareness and support for persecuted Christians around the world.”

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley said: “I encourage people of all faiths and none to show their support for Red Wednesday and help raise awareness of the plight of Christians around the world who are persecuted for their religious beliefs.

“St Mirren’s Cathedral will light up red as a public reminder of our solidarity. I hope many other buildings across Scotland will join us.”




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