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Basilica illuminated in red in solidarity with religious freedom campaign

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The exterior of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington is illuminated in red from Nov. 25-28 as it joins the “Courage in Red – Stand Up for Faith and Religious Freedom” campaign. 

Sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need, the campaign calls attention to the many Christians around the world enduring persecution. 

The basilica joined the effort with churches and landmarks across the globe that included Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, Sacré Coeur Basilica in Paris, Westminster Cathedral in London, and the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice. 

Venice’s famed Rialto Bridge and parts of the Grand Canal also were lit in red Nov. 20 in solidarity with the effort.

In addition, the basilica is scheduled to host “A Night of Witness: Vespers for Today’s Christian Martyrs” Nov. 28. This event features witness from Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq; Bishop Oliver Doeme of Maiduguri, Nigeria; and Sister of Jesus and Mary Annie Demerjian who serves in Aleppo, Syria. 

Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services and chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on International Justice and Peace will preside at vespers. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S., will deliver a message from the Holy See. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018