By Diego from Rome, Italy (Fontana di Trevi 19 ottobre 2007) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Diego from Rome, Italy (Fontana di Trevi 19 ottobre 2007) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Trevi Fountain’s water will be dyed red to honor Christian Martyrs.

The Trevi Fountain, located in the city of Rome, is one of the most famous fountains in the world. It will be dyed red on April 29, in recognition of the thousands of Christian martyrs all around the world. The event is being helmed by Aid to the Church in Need, a nonprofit organization.

It is their intention to call attention to the Christian persecutions happening globally by making the world famous fountain flow blood red. The organization has expressed hope on their website that the demonstration will help the people being persecuted in the name of their religion, would soon be able to go back to practicing their religion without fear, and with complete freedom.

Joining the Aid to the Church in Need organization will be the Christian Workers Movement, Caritas Italiana, the Communion and Liberation, the Focolare Movement, and various other pro-life organizations. The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria, Antoine Audo, and Mauro Piacenza, the International president of Aid to the Church in Need will be speaking at the event.

Syria and Iraq are two countries where Christians are being persecuted severely. The severity of the persecution of Christians is such that in February 2016, it was declared as genocide by the European Union. Just this week British Members of Parliament also voted unanimously that ISIS’ killing of Yazidis and Christians is genocide. Nigeria is another country where the Christians are being attacked and killed for their faith. In Somalia and North Korea, it is illegal to practice Christianity.

Two weeks ago, on April 7, Pope Francis tagged the Christian martyrs as the “lifeblood of the Church.” He said that many Christians, around the world, are being chased away from their homes and their native countries. Many are being killed. The witness of these Christian martyrs is their courage to confess Jesus even to their point of death.

In 2007, the crystal clear water of the Trevi Fountain was turned blood red by an artist protesting the cost of the Rome Film Festival, when he dumped a bottle of red dye into the fountain.

Throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain for finding love and getting married became a popular tourist tradition following the popularity of the 1954 movie, Three Coins in the Fountain, and its theme song, which won an Oscar award. As of now, around 3,000 Euros are getting tossed into the fountain every day. The officials collect these coins, and use them for charitable purposes.

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