BISHOP Patricio Buzon of the Diocese of Bacolod told the faithful that one’s faith is the highest form of human rights.
Buzon led the prayer rally yesterday dubbed as “The Red Wednesday Campaign” around the public plaza.
He was joined by priests, lay ministers, academe, and the Catholic faithful, who were clad in red shirts with a message, “A Christian in solidarity with persecuted Christians.”
In his homily, Buzon said that “Red Wednesday” is the church's way of expressing its solidarity with the humanity as 90,000 Christians die in the world every year.
“We express our appreciation of courage and the gift of their life. It’s not only through our expression of solidarity and prayers that we wish truly to be one with them, but also in the basic human right, expression of the deepest expression of the human heart which is faith,” the prelate said.
He added: “This expression of our faith is so much deeper and more sacred right.”
The bishop said the Diocese held the rally to “raise this awareness in the whole world.”
“The advocacy for human rights. And the deepest and most sacred of human rights is the expression of deeper faith,” Buzon reiterated.
He said they are in solidarity “with our brothers and sisters of the Christian faith – whether Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant.”
Buzon said he is hoping it will "bring inspiration to us...the highest witness of their faith should inspire us."
Fr. Chris Gonzales, head of Social Action Center of the Diocese of Bacolod, said the church will hold a forum on “Religious Extremism” next month.
Two Islam leaders will serve as speakers during the gathering on December 6, which is expected to be attended by about 200 people.
Gonzales said this is to shed light on one’s belief that “the one that creates extremism is the biases on both sides" because there is “no conflict in our faith.”
He said the holding of the activity is due to the threat of terrorism in the country, and the two religious sectors want to take action to prevent further threats.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on November 23, 2017.
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