#RedWednesday: Churches, Christians Shine Light on Persecution With 'Color of Martyrdom'

(Photo: Aid to the Church in Need Facebook)The Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Antipolo Church) in the Philippines marks Red Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017.

Hundreds of buildings and churches around the world are being lit up in red, with Christians also encouraged to wear red, as persecution watchdog groups mark #RedWednesday, an initiative aimed at drawing attention to the plight of persecuted believers.

"Red is the Christian color of martyrdom. Christians are the most persecuted faith group in today's world and #RedWednesday will honor all Christians who suffer and die for their faithfulness to Christ's message of peace and love," Aid to the Church in Need states.

"#RedWednesday will shine a light on Christian persecution but also highlight the injustices perpetrated against other faith groups. Our campaign calls for respect and tolerance for people of faith and between different faith traditions."

The Houses of Parliament in the U.K., alongside Lambeth Palace and 10 cathedrals will be floodlit in red, according to The Tablet. A special red "Routemaster" London bus will also pass through the nation's capital bearing the campaign's slogans.

Christians in the U.S. and a host of other nations, including Malta and Gibraltar, are also reportedly pushing for church buildings to mark the second annual #RedWednesday.

Over 70 cathedrals in the Catholic-majority nation of Philippines have been lit red, as they also remembered the churches destroyed and lives lost at the hands of Islamic extremists who attacked Marawi in May.

Expand | Collapse
(Photo: Aid to the Church in Need Facebook)The Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Cubao in the Philippines marks Red Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide, which is partnering with ACN in the initiative, said that it is not only churches that can join in the effort.

"Marking #RedWednesday can be as simple as wearing red, holding a 'red coffee morning' (a good excuse to eat red velvet cake) or giving out red balloons — anything as long as the theme is red and, of course, standing with the persecuted church," the watchdog group suggested.

CSW is hosting an event to raise awareness for Christian persecution on Wednesday at Westminster Cathedral Piazza in London.

Christians across the world have been targeted through government persecution, discrimination and Islamic extremism.

The recent defeats of the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria, which has been carrying out a genocide against believers, prompted some celebrations but also concern for the future.

Edward Clancy, ACNUSA director of outreach, told The Christian Post in an interview in October that the Middle East has seen drastic reductions in its Christian population.

"Iraq might very well have lost 80 percent of their native Christian people," Clancy told CP.

"Syria might have lost 50 percent. This is compounded by the fact that Christian families have not been secure enough to have many children. The loss of population and the very low birth rate will put great pressure on the Christian communities."

He warned that unless the ancient Christian communities can receive the help they need, then "ISIS might very well have lost the battles but won the war."

ACN said when promoting #RedWednesday that the rights of people of faith "are largely ignored in a society whose secular focus knows little about religion and cares even less."

"You, your parish, school, group or community can change that. Your voice on behalf of the voiceless will be heard — people power," it urged.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov