Fr Billy Swan
Each year in November, the charity 'Aid to the Church in Need' marks 'Red Week'. The purpose of this annual week is to call the world's attention to religious freedom and the terrible plight of Christians persecuted around the world. This year, 'Red Week' took place from 16th to 23rd of November.
In the past week, people all over the world were reminded of the plight of persecuted Christians and the lack of religious freedom in many countries, with buildings and landmarks in a number countries illuminated in red, along with a series of special initiatives, prayer actions and testimonies of suffering Christian communities
'Red Week' began on 16th Nov. with the official launch of “Persecuted and Forgotten?" - the report on Christians oppressed because of their faith in the years 2020–22, in the Houses of Parliament, in London. The report supplements ACN’s Religious Freedom Report. Prepared by ACN national office in the UK, it specifically addresses the worldwide situation of persecuted Christians every two years. The report will also be presented in other countries. The report is not an easy read as the evidence shows that Christian persecution is increasing in the world, especially in places like Nigeria. To read more about the report, click on the link below:
On a more hopeful note, there are green shoots emerging from Iraq. The Church there suffered terribly during the ISIS occupation a few years ago. The priest in this video is Fr Thabet Habib - I know personally as I lived with him in the Irish College in Rome during the time of our studies. In this video, he describes the work of rebuilding the Church in Iraq that has suffered heroically but has kept the faith.