UNITED KINGDOM: Papal Nuncio to celebrate Mass for persecuted Christians

The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain will be presiding at this year’s #RedWednesday Mass in London, a Catholic charity has announced.

Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía, who was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in April, has agreed to celebrate a special Mass for persecuted Christians at London’s St George’s Cathedral, Southwark on 22nd November, Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) revealed.

The invitation to the nuncio to preside and preach at the Mass was made by ACN (UK) and Archbishop John Wilson of Southwark.

Dr Caroline Hull, ACN (UK) National Director, said: “We are delighted to have the full support of Archbishop Buendía for ACN’s #RedWednesday initiative this year.”

She stressed the event’s focus on the suffering Church in Africa – ‘Breaking the Silence’ about the scale of persecution on the continent and action for help those most in need.

Dr Hull said: “The persecution of Christians in Africa – where the Church is vibrant and growing – is cruel and unacceptable.

“We need to speak out loudly to stop the violence and discrimination against innocent people who simply wish to live out their Christian faith.”

Dr Hull added: “#RedWednesday is a day to celebrate religious freedom, a basic human right.

“Sadly, on #RedWednesday we need also to offer our support to the growing number of people, mainly Christians, who suffer for their faith.”

Present at the Mass will be Margaret Attah, from Nigeria, who lost both legs and an eye in a massacre during Sunday Mass at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Owo, on 5th June 2022 – 41 died and more than 70 were injured.

Afterwards, in the cathedral’s Amigo Hall, Margaret will share her story at an ACN event focusing on persecution in Africa as well as prayer and action aimed at addressing the crisis.

ACN’s Religious Freedom in the World Report 2023 noted that Africa’s entire Sahel region has seen an explosion in militant Islamist activity over the past year, with Nigeria being one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a Christian.

The report found a 57 percent increase in violent attacks and a 70 percent jump in fatalities in north-west Nigeria, as well as in Chad and Niger.

Dr Hull called for prayers for persecuted Christians throughout the world.

She said: “Please lend your prayers, your voice and your generosity to all those who suffer for their faith or peacefully held beliefs.”

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