Bishop Alan McGuckian has welcomed awareness raising for this years’ international ‘Red Wednesday’ initiative, which takes place this week on 28 November.
Speaking ahead of ‘Red Wednesday’, the Bishop of Raphoe and Chair of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference said: “The truth is that in our modern world Christians are more likely than ever before to suffer being imprisoned ‘disappeared’, sexually harassed, tortured or executed.”
The Letterkenny-based bishop referred to a recent statement signed by Pope Francis and Mar Gewargis III, Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, calling for an end to violence against Christians in the Middle East. The statement stressed the importance of dialogue grounded in openness, truth and love as the antidote to extremism.
Bishop McGuckian emphasised: “On Red Wednesday, we remember the horrific reality of religious violence and intolerance in our world and we state definitively that those who do not respect freedom of thought, conscience and religion must be held to account.”
Red Wednesday is an initiative whereby certain churches across the country are lit up in the colour of red in solidarity with suffering Christians around the world. According to ‘Aid to the Church in Need’, 100,000 Christians lose their lives annually, and 200 million Christians endure persecution and violence every day because of their profession of faith, making Christians the most persecuted religious group worldwide.