The Roman Colosseum is set to be lit with red lights on Feb. 24 to raise more awareness of the persecution of Christians in Iraq, Syria, and other parts of the world.
In an event supported by the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the Colosseum in Rome will be illuminated by red lights to symbolize the blood of Christians who have been persecuted and martyred because of their faith. The St. Elijah Maronite Cathedral in Aleppo and the Church of St. Paul in Mosul will also be bathed in red lights simultaneously during that day, the Catholic News Agency detailed.
Earlier this month, ACN director Alessandro Monteduro explained that the illumination of the Roman Colosseum would highlight two symbolic Christian figures. One is Pakistani mother Asia Bibi who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, and the other one is a girl named Rebecca who along with her two kids was abducted by Boko Haram at a time when she was expecting her third child.
"One of the children was killed," said Monteduro. "She lost the baby she was carrying, and then became pregnant after one of the many brutalities she was subjected to by her captors."
Despite her painful experience at the hands of Boko Haram militants, Rebecca decided not to harbor hatred against her captors. She was later freed, and she and her husband has since been reunited.
In May 2016, ACN led an initiative to commemorate the thousands of modern Christians who were martyred for practicing their faith by lighting up Rome's Trevi Fountain in red. Four guest speakers also stood during the event to tell personal stories of persecuted believers, The Tablet reported.
Images of Christians who had suffered persecution for their faith were projected onto the Trevi Fountain, and among them were the four missionaries killed in Aden, Yemen, in March 2016.