This year, the Aid to the Chuch in Need (ACN) Ireland Week of Witness will be held between Sunday the 19th and Sunday the 26th of November. The Week of Witness is an invitation to Christians across the island of Ireland to stand in solidarity with and bear witness to the heroic example of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Faith across the world. The video below, produced by ACN, shows the Annual Freedom Report for 2023.
(The Irish) Bishops are encouraging dioceses and parishes to avail of Wednesday, 22 November, as an opportunity to highlight the persecution of Christians worldwide and, where possible, to offer prayers and to light up cathedrals and churches in red around Ireland on that evening.
Bishops recently received an updated report from Aid to the Church in Need on this issue. Bishops said, “The continuing persecution of Christians in so many parts of the world is a reason for Irish people to take steps to show solidarity with them through prayer, the sharing of information, and to advocate for them with politicians and the wider community.”
ACN is a Catholic charity established in 1947 to help serve suffering and persecuted Christians around the world who are in material need as a result of discrimination and oppression. One of the initiatives of ACN Ireland is ‘Red Wednesday’, which this year falls on 22 November. Red Wednesday occurs in the middle of a week of witness and prayer for persecuted Christians across the world, including prayer vigils on Red Wednesday itself.
ACN Ireland, as a Pontifical Foundation, is part of the Church in a most profound way – to help our Church heal our world. Being present with and for the most vulnerable of God’s people is vital to achieving this, no matter how perilous the environment. Through the Church’s pastoral care, through the Holy Sacraments, through the heroic witness of Christians martyrs, God’s Grace provides the Church – and the world – with the means of bringing the Light and Love of Christ to places and people where before there was only darkness and hate.
During the Week of Witness, you can – even in a small yet profound manner – bear personal witness to God’s Love and Mercy for the persecuted Church through our Ways to Witness:
ILLUMINATING your Church or school in red to show the world that the sacrifice and suffering of the persecuted and martyred Church is an ongoing reality.
WEARING a red tie, scarf or scapular as a mark of the blood lost by Christians in defence of our Faith.
PRAYING for the suffering and persecuted Church at the hours of the Angelus, 12noon and 6pm and during Holy Mass, asking your Parish Priest to consider giving his homily on the theme of persecution and martyrdom in the Church.
ATTENDING a Red Wednesday Prayer Vigil.
BLESSING oneself in public when having a meal, passing a graveyard or a Church.
DONATING to ACN Ireland to help in our work for persecuted Christians globally – your donations constitute a powerful corporal work of mercy, and when you order a Mass Offering through ACN Ireland, 100% of your offering goes directly to help support a priest provide pastoral care and ministry to the suffering Church.
You, through your help and support of ACN Ireland, can help Save Lives, Save Souls and Save the Faith. In pursuit of this charism and mission, we at ACN Ireland are so grateful for your prayers and donations to help make this a reality by the Grace of God.
Should you have any queries at all in relation to organising an event in relation to ACN in your diocese or parish, please feel free to contact us via email at email@example.com or via phone at +353(0)1 837 7516.