Red WednesdayPublish Date: Thu 4th Oct 2018
Patricia Hatton from Aid to the Church in Need discusses the work Catenians are doing to support #RedWednesday
In a world where Christians are persecuted because of their faith, it is heartening to learn of initiatives like #RedWednesday.
Launched by the charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) and joined again this year by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, #RedWednesday will take place on 28 November. Its goal is to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and faith minorities who suffer unjustly for their peacefully-held beliefs.
Patricia Hatton is Head of Fundraising and Marketing at ACN UK. She says that #RedWednesday gives a voice to persecuted Christians and others and stands up for faith and freedom. “The Christian presence and the Christian voice in the UK matter and #RedWednesday makes us visible.”
Each year, ACN funds more than 5,000 projects in 140 countries, helping to support the Church, bringing hope to many people and, in recent years, helping huge numbers of displaced Christians in the Middle East.
From building churches to providing copies of its Child’s Bible, the charity’s projects range from large to small and cover a wide range of ideas.
Patricia says: “I saw firsthand the heartrending needs of destitute Christians in displacement camps in Iraq. With medicine in short supply, managing chronic illness was a worry too. One man I met with uncontrolled diabetes had just had part of his leg amputated. In the camps I encountered a woman who gave me a completely different perspective on my trip. She gave me a warm but silent welcome. When I discovered that she was medically unable to speak, I was immediately struck by the injustice of it all: like her, Christians in Iraq and in Syria too, literally have no voice in a world that is largely uninterested in their fate.”
She continues: “Catenians are hugely influential ACN supporters and Catenian networks could make a big contribution in growing #RedWednesday in the UK and around the world. Could you be #RedWednesday champions and get parishes, schools and groups involved? Why not question local MPs about how they are supporting persecuted Christians? Could you persuade local landmarks to light red? It was a personal approach that got the Houses of Parliament lit red; watch out for Blackpool Tower this November.”
ACN knows that prayers and action bring hope.
“We would be delighted if Catenians would wear red on 28 November, attend local parish vigils or Go2Mass for a suffering Christian. To add your prayer, fundraising event or action to our #RedWednesday map, just let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. For resources, information and details of our 50 Mile Challenge, please see www.acnuk.org/redwednesday
Tony Stevens from Wolverhampton Circle says: “In this day and age, persecution of Christians is going on so frequently that it is not seen as newsworthy. Whether in Syria, Iraq or closer to home, we need to support
Christians. We have a duty to help those who are being persecuted or who have fled from terrible suffering.”
He adds: “It is essential that people are aware of the plight of so many people. Aid to the Church in Need does a fantastic job of raising awareness and so much more.”