Persecution is present in all of the historical narratives of the Church. From the proto-martyr St. Steven, the terror raised by Emperor Nero against the early Christians, the persecution of Christians during the different upheavals worldwide, the killing of Fr. Jacques Hamel while celebrating the mass in his parish in France last 2016, up to the bombing of the Jolo Cathedral last January 2019, Christians continue to be persecuted in various parts of the world.
Hate and indifference are among the main reasons why persecution continues to persist. In an article of John Pontifex published last October 24, 2019 in the Catholic Herald, he mentions that of the 12 countries around the world examined in depth for the report, five – Burma, China, India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka – indicate that the situation for Christians has worsened markedly over the past two years.’
Although Catholicism is dominant in the Philippines, it is quite ironic that the country’s situation has worsened. Several years ago, news of priests killed by unknown assailants were reported by the media. Catholic hierarchy also experienced bashing from the present government with bishops being branded as ‘idiots.’
The Universal Church recognizes these struggles of different Christian communities that is why it is in this regard that the celebration of ‘Red Wednesday’ was instituted. An initiative of the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Red Wednesday aims to raise public awareness on the persecution and oppression being experienced by Catholics and other Christian denominations. Participating churches, schools, and other Catholic institutions light up their facade with the color Red to symbolize the blood of the martyrs and other persecuted Christians spilled for the proclamation and the glorification of Christ.
St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish and Diocesan Shrine participated in this commemoration, highlighting the solidarity of the parish with Catholics and other Christian denominations who were and continues to be persecuted because of their unfaltering love for Jesus Christ.