Porte des Bombes turns red in mem­ory of those who died for their be­liefs

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Malta’s ma­jor his­toric land­mark, Portes de Bombes mon­u­ment, was lit up in red yes­ter­day from 7pm - 11pm in mem­ory of all those who were killed for their re­li­gious be­liefs.

This il­lu­mi­na­tion took place on the day of the launch in Malta of a ma­jor re­port pub­lished by in­ter­na­tional Catholic char­ity Aid to the Church in Need warning that re­li­gious free­dom is un­der threat in one in five coun­tries around the world. The Re­li­gious Free­dom in the World 2016 re­port de­scribes the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in 196 coun­tries and high­lights 38 coun­tries in which there have been sig­nif­i­cant vi­o­la­tions of re­li­gious free­dom in the last two years.

The re­port high­lights a phe­nom­e­non it calls “hy­per-ex­trem­ism”, em­bod­ied by groups such as Is­lamic State which not only preach a hard­line creed but sys­tem­at­i­cally seek to an­ni­hi­late ev­ery­one else who does not con­form to their ideas, in­clud­ing mem­bers of their own faith. This is cre­at­ing ma­jor in­sta­bil­ity, record num­bers of refugees and poses a se­ri­ous threat to world peace.

The re­port launch was held yes­ter­day in St An­thony chapel at the palace of San An­ton un­der the pa­tron­age of Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Pres­i­dent of Malta.

The Porte des Bombs il­lu­mi­na­tion is part of a ma­jor cam­paign con­ceived by Aid to the Church in Need to hon­our the vic­tims of re­li­gious ha­tred world­wide and raise aware­ness of re­li­gious per­se­cu­tion.

On Wed­nes­day West­min­ster Abbey, the Ro­man Catholic West­min­ster Cathe­dral, the Cop­tic Ortho­dox Church Cen­tre in Steve­nage, the Houses of Par­lia­ment and a string of other land­marks around Bri­tain turned red to draw at­ten­tion to the plight of peo­ple around the world be­ing killed or per­se­cuted for their faith. Churches, mosques and syn­a­gogues were among build­ings il­lu­mi­nated.

Pre­vi­ously, Italy’s fa­mous Trevi foun­tain and Brazil’s fa­mous statue of Christ Redeemer were also lit up in red as a sym­bolic ges­ture to the mar­tyrs who shed their blood for their be­liefs.

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