Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Snellville parish to wear orange as sign of solidarity with persecuted Christians

Published April 30, 2015

SNELLVILLE—Parishioners at a local parish will be wearing orange in a show of solidarity and to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians. Most recently, some 30 Ethiopian Christians were killed by ISIS in Libya as they wore orange jumpsuits.

The community at St. Oliver Plunkett Church, in Snellville, will be taking part on May 2 and 3.

Missionaries of Our Lady of LaSalette Father John Welch, the pastor, said he was moved to participate after seeing this idea promoted by a Christian church. It’s an opportunity for Catholics to stand together with Christians around the world.

“I feel that we should be ‘silent no more’ by acting upon the injustices occurring around the globe. Just as Christ said, ‘Be not afraid,’ we are called to be a church of action to get out and be witnesses of Christ’s love,” said Father Welch in an email.

He said the goal is to raise awareness and encourage others.

“The power of Christ’s love through our actions will conquer all evil and evil will never have the last word,” said Father Welch.

Pope Francis recently talked about ongoing persecution of Christians around the world.

“We still see today our persecuted brothers, decapitated and crucified for their faith in you (Jesus), before our eyes and often with our complicit silence,” Pope Francis said, presiding over a Good Friday ceremony.

He called the persecution of Christians around the world an “unacceptable crime” committed against women and men “for the only reason of being a Christian.”

The effort is in part inspired by Father Frank Karwacki, of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania. He is said to have been one of those who came up with the spark of the idea.

The Islamic State recently released videos of fighters executing Ethiopian Christians. The prisoners wear orange jump suits as they are killed. Reports have said the orange garb is purposely chosen to show anger for the United States detainment of prisoners at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

On Thursday, April 23, hundreds came to join the Ethiopian community in Clarkston when it held a candlelight vigil to remember the 30 Ethiopian Christians massacred by ISIS in Libya.