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Rome Reports

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Aid to Church in Need illuminates thousands of buildings in red for persecuted Christians

This was the first monument that Aid to the Church in Need lit up in red, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. It was illuminated in 2015 to denounce Christian persecution.

The idea turned into a viral phenomenon when 2,100 places from different continents were showcased in red.

From New York, all the way to Budapest.

Aid to the Church in Need
“Lighting the buildings in red is a memory, a reminder for the people that Christian persecution is still going on today.”

Mark von Riedemann is the director of the Public Affairs and Religious Freedom department of Aid to the Church in Need.

Today, one out of seven Christians live in persecuted areas or lands with hostility towards them.

Lighting these monuments in red sends a message to those who are suffering in hiding around the world.

Aid to the Church in Need
“When they suffer persecution in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, where they had the Easter bombings, they know that they are not alone, that we in the West, we are also paying attention to this issue, and that we are calling attention to it. So, their suffering is not in silence.”

In the past years, many symbolic places have been lit in red thanks to Aid to the Church in Need. This includes the Colosseum in Rome, this Venetian basilica and the Parliament of England.

It's a method to call attention to the persecution and try to end hate.

Aid to the Church in Need
“Genocide arrives because there is first, intolerance, then there is discrimination, then there is persecution, and then there is genocide. And we are seeing this in various stages all around the world. So, the question for us is let's talk now before we get to Genocide.”

The success of their initiative shows there is a greater awareness of Christian persecution than previously realized.

However, as long as Christian discrimination continues, monuments will be illuminated in red. Next year, Aid to the Church in Need will light up thousands of places around the world again as tribute to those who are persecuted for believing in Jesus.

Javier Martínez-Brocal
Translated: Rachel Dobrzynski