Houses of Worship To Be Lit Red for the Persecuted

28 November 2018

ACN Australia launches Red Wednesday

Two of Australia’s largest Catholic cathedrals, The Great Synagogue in Sydney as well as other houses of worship will be floodlit red, the colour of martyrs, to commemorate Red Wednesday on November 28, drawing attention to the plight of those around the globe persecuted for their religious beliefs.

It is the first time Australian landmarks will join other cities such as Rio de Janeiro, London, Rome and Paris in lighting up significant buildings and iconic sites as a sign of solidarity. Australians are also encouraged to wear the colour red on the day and pray for an end to religious persecution.

Red Wednesday is an initiative of the Catholic Charity, Aid to the Church in Need, and has been marked around the world in previous years with the British Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, major Catholic cathedrals, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and Christ the Redeemer (statue) all being floodlit blood red to raise awareness against abuses of religious freedom.

The aim of the day is for people of all faiths to raise a strong voice in support of the persecuted who cannot profess their religion freely.

For the first time, on November 28, ACN Australia will sponsor Red Wednesday with St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, The Great Synagogue Sydney, St John’s College at Sydney University and St James’ Anglican Church, King Street floodlit red.

It is hoped Red Wednesday will, like other countries, become a nationwide observance in all states and territories, where people can stand up for religious faith and freedom of conscience.

The following events will take place on 28 November to mark the occasion:

ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL SYDNEY: Red Wednesday Mass at 5.30pm to pray for all those persecuted, followed by an Interfaith Gathering in the Crypt at 7pm. The Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, will join with other religious leaders from the Muslim, Bahá’í, Buddhist, Mormon, Orthodox, Maronite, Melkite, Chaldean, Anglican and Catholic communities to observe a Night of Witness.

The gathering will hear testimonies from an Orthodox Christian, who fled Syria after his children’s school was bombed, and, from a Yemeni Bahá’í woman, who will tell of her family’s present peril of persecution. The gathering will then watch the cathedral be lit red.

All welcome. Find out more here.

Red Wednesday coincides with the release of ACN’s bi-annual Religious Freedom in the World Report 2018, which assesses the situation of minority faith groups in 196 countries.

The report assists journalists, politicians and academics seeking to assist all those oppressed for their faith. It was released on 23 November at:

To find out more about Red Wednesday: visit:

With thanks to the Archdiocese of Sydney and ACN.


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