by NILLICENT B. BAUTISTA
A DOMINICAN priest has urged Thomasians to be in solidarity with one another despite religious differences during the Red Wednesday mass in honor of persecuted Christians worldwide.
Differences in religious beliefs should not hinder people from reaching out and helping those who are suffering, UST Senior High School Regent Fr. Ermito de Sagon, O.P. said.
“We have to be very careful because [sometimes], we are the very source of persecution. We shouldn’t be persecuting one another just because we think we have the right thinking with regards to God,” de Sagon said in his homily last Nov. 24.
“We shouldn’t be persecuting one another, we should be helping one another and growing in our faith,” he added.
The University commemorated the Red Wednesday, a campaign organized by Aid to the Church in Need to “support the faithful, who are persecuted, oppressed, or in need, through information, prayer, and action.”
De Sagon said faith and religious beliefs should never be used to inflict pain and suffering to other people. He added that standing up for faith and showing it off are entirely two different things.
“We have to show our faith, but we should not show-off, in the sense that we shouldn’t let other people suffer because of our faith,” he said.
Over 340 million Christians live in places where they experience high levels of persecution and discrimination while about 4,700 of them were killed for their faith last year, according to support group Open Doors.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines approved the institutionalization of the “Red Wednesday” campaign in January 2020 as an official day of observance in all Catholic institutions in the country.
The Red Wednesday mass was live-streamed on the Facebook pages of the Santísimo Rosario Parish and the University of Santo Tomas. F