The Holy Father hopes that the “providential initiative ‘Venice in Red’”, jointly organized by the Patriarchate of Venice and Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) tonight, may inspire everyone to pay “due attention to the serious problem of discrimination against Christians in many parts of the world”. In a message sent to the Patriarch of Venice, Mgr. Francesco Moraglia, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the Pope “affectionately greets” the young people who will take part in the diocesan pilgrimage that will precede the illumination of the Basilica of Saint Mary of Health, the Rialto Bridge, sections of the Grand Canal and other iconic buildings in Venice. The event, the message reads, “is aimed at raising public awareness of the plight of so many Christians persecuted for their faith”. The text also specifies that “there are countries that impose a single religion upon everyone, others where there is violent persecution against or systematic cultural mockery of Jesus’ disciples”. That is why it is of fundamental importance to hold events similar to the one in Venice or to those promoted by ACN, which has lit up iconic monuments such as the Colosseum to draw the world’s attention to the many violations of religious freedom. The latter, the message ends, is a “fundamental human right that must be recognised since it is an expression of man’s highest dignity”.