Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter
Catholic places of worship lit themselves in red after Thanksgiving as part of the Courage In Red campaign to honor todays Christian martyrs.
Particular U.S. Catholic churches across the nation will participate in Aid to the Church in Needs (ACN) first annual worldwide Courage in Red campaign for several days after Thanksgiving. They will light up red, which Catholics hold to be the color of martyrdom, and will hold various prayer services in tribute to those who have died for their faith in Christ. (RELATED: Bodies Of 21 Christian Martyrs Killed By ISIS In Libya Finally Return Home)
Edward Clancy, ACNUSA director of outreach, said the campaign is “designed to bring the plight of our suffering brothers and sisters more dramatically to the attention of faithful in the US,” according to a news release provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Hopefully, greater awareness will lead to greater action,” he added.
U.S. participation in the campaign began Saturday, with the Cathedral of St. Francis in New Jersey holding services to honor persecuted Christians. Those services will continue through Sunday. The Co-Cathedral of St. Josephs in Brooklyn will also hold a special prayer service on Sunday.
Relatives pray and mourn over the repatriated remains of 20 Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christian men who were beheaded by jihadists on the beach of the Libyan city of Sirte in Libya in 2015, during their funeral ceremony at the Church of the Martyrs in the village of Al-Our in Egypts southern Minya province on May 15, 2018. (IBRAHIM EZZAT/AFP/Getty Images)
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., will host the main event on the evening of Nov. 28, with a vesper service at 6:30 p.m. Witnesses to modern Christian persecution will attend, including Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Kurdistan, whose church has served for hundreds of thousands of Christians who fled the Islamic States onslaught; Sister Annie Demerjian of the Community of Jesus and Mary, who served in Aleppo, Syria; and Bishop Oliver Doeme of the Diocese of Maiduguri, Nigeria, which has been ravaged by Boko Haram.
“Hundreds of thousands of Christians suffer various forms of persecution each year—from horrific brutality in North Korea to systemic, if more subtle, oppression in countries like India,” Clancy said.
The vespers service will be broadcast on EWTN.
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