The Night of the Witnesses


A student who attended Night of the Witnesses described it as “one of the most impactful events I have attended. The atmosphere was a type of reverence I had never experienced, and the guest speakers spoke with conviction and sincerity as they described the unwavering faith of the martyrs. The night as a whole was beautiful.” 


Thank you to all who joined us at 7 pm on Wednesday 23 November at St Christopher's Cathedral in Canberra!

Click here to watch the Livestream recording.

Guest speakers included: Cardinal Joseph Coutts (Archbishop Emeritus of Karachi, Pakistan),

Archbishop Amel Nona (The Chaldean Eparchy of St Thomas in Australia & New Zealand -previously the Bishop of Mosul, Iraq)  

Regina Lynch (Projects Director, Aid to the Church in Need International, Germany).

Presided over by Archbishop Christopher Prowse (Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn)

Watch this video of Archbishop Charles Balvo, Papal Nuncio to Australia, share his recollections of Red Wednesday in other nations.

    Canberrans stand in solidarity with Christianity’s modern-day martyrs – click on the image below to read this article from Catholic Voice, Canberra’s local Catholic news site.  

What is Night of the Witnesses?

Night of the Witnesses is an evening to remember; to pray; to stand in solidarity with and be deeply impacted by the inspirational stories of our modern-day martyrs and Christians all over the world suffering persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ.

The initiative has its origin at Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur Cathedrals in Paris, where it has been celebrated for the past 15 years.  It is a work of the Pontifical Foundation: Aid to the Church in Need. 

Night of the Witnesses has a particular focus:  it is a night to remember, give honour, and be inspired by the witness of twelve recent Christian martyrs.  A procession of images of these twelve men and women from such countries as Nigeria, Iraq and Sri Lanka, will coincide with a brief reading of their ‘martyrology’ or stories.  There will be time to pray, reflect and give thanks for the witness of their lives.  

We will also hear from distinguished guests who will share their personal experiences of Christian persecution and that of their communities. 

As well as a time of joyful thanksgiving and heartfelt prayer; the remembrance of these martyrs’ lives gives us pause to reflect on the love of Jesus Christ and the power of the Gospel to change the world that we are called to be witnesses in. It is an opportunity to reflect on the strength of our own Christian witness and to perhaps ask the Lord for the grace and courage to be His bright light in a world so desperate for hope.  

Please continue to pray for persecuted Christians!

We hope to see you at Night of the Witnesses in 2023!


Watch a short video about Night of the Witnesses