Catholic Churches in the Philippines turned red on Wednesday to commemorate the day of remembrance “for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ”.
Dubbed ‘Red Wednesday,’ the observance was launched in 2015 by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic charity that supports suffering and persecuted Christians.
This year’s theme is “Embracing Persecuted, Oppressed, and Needy Christians,” which highlights “the pastoral work of the Church in supporting Christians from various walks of life”.
In the Archdiocese of Manila, Monsignor Bernardo Pantin, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, led the celebration of the Eucharist at the Manila Cathedral.
The priest said the Red Wednesday observance is “not limited” to Catholics alone. “It is open even to non-Christians, the other Christian confessions here in our country, we also have our share of the faithful who have died for their faith,” he said.
He acknowledged the sacrifices that persecuted Christians have to face because of their faith in Christ.
The priest encouraged the public to “remember those who have given up their lives for the faith and lift up before the Lord.”
“Those who continue to experience persecution asking for His divine protection is strength and constellation,” he added.
ACN notes that approximately 250 million Christians worldwide live in environments where they face violent persecution, discrimination, or restrictions on practicing their faith freely
All photos by Angie de Silva