Colosseum bathed in blood red for persecuted Christians
According to Open Doors International, there are at least 200 million Christians facing severe persecution, leading to more than 3,000 deaths, 793 attacks on churches and continuously diminishing numbers of Christians in the Middle East.
On Saturday, members from Aid to the Church in Need made a bold statement by sponsoring this event to combat these numbers as the Colosseum was lit up in blood red.
President, Aid Church in Need
"This is a symbol of the persecution of Christians in the entire world - those who suffer because of faith. We light up the Colosseum with red because their blood shed cannot leave us indifferent. We cannot wash our hands of the blood of this injustice as Pontius Pilate did 2000 years ago."
CARD. MAURO PIACENZA
International President, Aid Church in Need
“Certainly, today we are at a point where martyrdom and the number of martyrs is higher than what paganism did here. This really is a cry of alarm. Then we should not forget this indifference, and this bloody martyrdom of the people who sacrifice their lives for their faith.”
With persecution and the war especially affecting those in the Middle East, many are afraid that those who have fled will not return to their destroyed homes once this period is over.
CARD. PIETRO PAROLIN
Vatican Secretary of State
“The Middle East without Christians, as Pope Francis has said many times, doesn't make sense. The Christians are a fundamental part of the land, not only from a historical point of view, but also because they contribute to everything.”
To instill this point even further, Iraq and Syria Skyped into the event in Rome. It was a way to unite the persecutions taking place in the Middle East with concerned parties across the world, who also were partaking in the same event.