Initiative by ACN to shine light on Christians who face persecution will illuminate Colosseum in red
The Colosseum, the most popular landmark in Rome, was lit red on Saturday , to draw the attention of the world to those who faced persecution due to their faith.
ACN’s latest initiative
It was an initiative taken by the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), to highlight the situation of afflicted Christians. The group said, “Christians are the victims of at least 75 percent of all religiously-motivated violence and oppression. The extent of this persecution is largely ignored by our media.”
St. Elijah Cathedral in Aleppo and St. Paul’s Church in Mosul joined the Colosseum at the same time, by illuminating their buildings in red. Chaldean Catholic Church’s head, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako said that the illumination is going to restore hope in those who faced a lot of suffering. He added that the Iraqi church is grateful for all the western counterparts and charities who were responsible for making a change in their country.
The director of ACN’s Italian office, Alfredo Mantovano made a statement that Christians all over the world have to suffer from violence, poverty, and hunger because they stay true to their faith. He said that they had done this earlier with other monuments in the world so that it brings awareness about all the Christian brothers and sisters sacrifices to stay loyal to their religion. The latest event is to bring awareness in Iraq and Syria, where Christians suffered the most this year.
A historic event
The event in Rome featured testimonies of people who faced persecution because of their Christian faith. Eisham Ashiq and Ashiq Masih, Asia Bibi’s youngest daughter and husband, spoke at the event. Asia Bibi is a Catholic woman from Pakistan, who got a death sentence in 2009.
Following the duo was Rebecca Bitrus, a woman from Nigeria who was held hostage by Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group, for two years. After bearing her captors baby and escaping from the clutches of Boko Haram, Rebecca continues to inspire women in Nigeria to stay true to their faith.
More than 3,000 Christian martyrs lost their lives last year. The organizers of the event hope to shine more light on these victims, to end the tyranny of indifference, once and for all.
Antonio Tajani, the European Parliament president, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the Italian episcopal conference’s secretary general, and Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, ACN’s international president attended the event.