MORE than 2,000 parishes in the Philippines will join the observance of the third “Red Wednesday” campaign on November 27, according to international pontifical charity organization Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Philippines.
In a statement, ACN Philippines said there is a higher number of local parishes that have committed to join the annual lights and prayers activity.
“For 2019, a total of 2,065 parishes have committed to participate and to illuminate the facade of their churches in red,” said ACN Philippines.
As in previous events, the main activity will be held at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, beginning at exactly 6:30 pm. with a Holy Mass.
Several Catholic schools and universities have also expressed their intent to take part in the activity, namely, University of Santo Tomas, Adamson University, and the San Carlos Seminary.
Christians from other denominational families and ecumenical groups have also been invited to the event, ACN said.
“Packages have been released to all the participants, all of which contain the flow of the ceremony, prayers, and other paraphernalia relevant to the campaign,” it said.
Last year, a total of 1,136 churches and 37 Catholic schools in the Philippines joined the activity.
Initiated in 2017, the Red Wednesday campaign is an initiative to bring attention to the martyrdom of Christians as they battle religious persecutions in many parts of the world.
Approximately 300 million Christians around the world live in an environment where they are violently persecuted, discriminated, and prevented from practising the faith, according to the Religious Freedom Report 2018.
The Philippines is no stranger to these forms of persecution as 2019 was welcomed with twin explosions in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, where around 20 died and more than 80 were left wounded.
“Through this initiative, the foundation seeks to educate Filipinos that not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution,” said ACN. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)