MANILA - Churches across the country are expected to be awash in red lights and adornments in November to mark the sacrifice of Christians all over the world.
The move is part of the first Philippine commemoration of "Red Wednesday," a global campaign that aims to raise awareness on the persecution of Christians. Red is the color of martyrdom in the Christian faith.
"The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has requested all bishops to illuminate all cathedrals, national shrines, and minor basilicas with red lights to remember the blood of the faithful who have been killed because of the Christian faith," the CBCP said in a statement.
While Christians do not usually endure persecution in predominantly Catholic Philippines, the CBCP said it hopes the campaign would help Filipinos be more sensitive to the plight of those experiencing persecution around the world.
Pope Francis has many times talked about the persecution of Christians, saying there are even more who suffer today than in centuries past.
“How many of our brothers and sisters in faith suffer abuse, violence, and are hated for Jesus’ sake! I’ll tell you something. The martyrs of today are greater in number than those of the first centuries,” the Pope said in December at the Feast of St. Stephen, the Church’s first martyr.
The Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) foundation also encouraged parishes, schools, religious organizations, and the Catholic faithful to join the Red Wednesday campaign by wearing red clothing, holding programs, and sharing photos of their participation online.
The Red Wednesday campaign was first held by the ACN in the United Kingdom. The Philippines joins the campaign for the first time this year.