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Rome Reports

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Colosseum to be lit up red to remember drama of persecuted Christians


Long ago, the Colosseum ceased to be the scene of Christian martyrdoms, but it still stands as a symbol of the persecution the baptized from the first centuries endured.

Today this architectural masterpiece in the Eternal City will remember, as Pope Francis says, that there are more persecuted people now because of their faith than back then. He will honor them with the help of the Aid to the Church in Need, who will turn it red.

ALESSANDRO MONTEDURO
Director, ACN Italia

“With this demonstration we wanted to represent the blood shed throughout the world by Christian martyrs. We want it to attract everyone’s attention, and most especially, that of the International Community.”

ALFREDO MANTOVANO
President, ACN Italy

“This initiative is a tribute to grasping reality, to grasping the truth of the Christian persecution, not in a mournful or a vindictive way, but to defend the freedom of all.”

On Saturday, February 24, this Pontifical Foundation will begin a new spectacular demonstration in Rome, just as it has done with the famous Trevi Fountain or other monuments throughout the world. It is a powerful symbolic gesture, so as not to forget those who still today give their lives when they refuse to deny Christ.

ALFREDO MANTOVANO
President, ACN Italy

“Why display it so blatantly? Because the veil of indifference must be torn. Breaking this veil means, in many cases, saving human lives.”

It’s lives like these that were lost in Syria and Iraq, where Daesh’s presence caused hundreds of deaths and displaced countless people from the Christian population. Therefore, two symbolic places will also be illuminated red at the same time in both countries. In Mosul, the facade of St. Paul’s Church will be lit up in red and in Aleppo, St. Elijah’s Cathedral.