This Wednesday, 23 November, Aid to the Church in Need has organised a day in which Christians, Muslims and Jews will be coming together in an act of solidarity with those around the world suffering persecution because of their faith, and standing up for faith and freedom. Across the country, key religious buildings will be flood-lit in red. ACN are inviting everyone to wear red – as a symbol of the suffering today of people of faith
A few weeks ago we were privileged to welcome to St Joseph's Primary School Sr Annie Demerjian from Aleppo in Syria. Sr Anne was able to share from her experiences the tragedy of persecution and conflict.
Sr Annie spoke of the events in Aleppo, a place we have got to know through the news. But to meet someone who lives there brought the whole tragedy of war to the fore. She spoke of the shrapnel embedded in people's bodies as they go about their everyday tasks, the difficulty of learning how to live without legs and arms, the reality of death everywhere, the sounds of ambulances, shells, missiles, the smell of fear. Families are divided because of death and displacement. In these desperate times the Church is providing the basis of a welfare state, coordinating food distribution, caring for the elderly, helping where she can. Sr Annie even brought with her some pictures that some of the children from her school had drawn of the traumatic events that they had witnessed.
On Wednesday 23 November ACN are sponsoring an event called Red Wednesday to remember all Christians and other faith groups who suffer for their beliefs. ACN is asking everyone to stand up against religious persecution and to make a stand for peace and tolerance by wearing an item of red clothing on the day.