Since 2015, the „Red Wednesday“ campaign has brought this reality to public awareness. On or around 23 November, churches and public buildings are illuminated in red. In prayer, Christians connect with their persecuted brothers and sisters in faith and remember the many martyrs of our day. An exhibition by „Aid to the Church in Need“ on „Persecuted Christians Worldwide“ in the Pilgrims‘ Church in Schoenstatt has sensitised many visitors to this theme. The current exhibition of Fr Franz Reinisch, who as a Pallottine and Schoenstatter refused to take the oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler out of conviction of conscience and was executed for it, fitted in seamlessly and focuses on a martyr from the recent history of our country. The exhibition ends with Red Wednesday. What should remain, however, is the awareness of a solidarity with all Christians, especially with those who are persecuted. Prayer should support them and also strengthen us in our faith and witness.
In Schoenstatt, on 23 November, we will illuminate the Original Shrine in red in the evening hours and gather for prayer from 7.30 p.m. – on site and online (webcam). The prayer will lead into the evening blessing at the usual time (7.50 – 8.00 p.m.).
(*Sources: World Persecution Index 2021 of the aid organisation Open Doors, reported in ZEIT online, 13 January 2021; Kirche in Not, Religionsfreiheit weltweit. Report 2021)