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Catholic Charity helping those suffering Christian persecution worldwide                                                

An international Catholic charity dependent on the Holy See, providing pastoral relief to needy and oppressed churches.                                                 
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Help Religious Sisters - the unsung heroines in the Church!

They smile, they heal, they teach, they comfort. Around the globe Catholic religious sisters quietly perform their dedicated and heroic service without remuneration and barely even noticed by the wider world. But in order to help others, they themselves also need to be helped, for although they are ministering angels to so many, they themselves still need their daily bread and a roof over their heads.

Each year the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) supports over 9,000 religious sisters in every corner of the globe. Many religious congregations turn to the charity for help, not least for the formation of their precious new vocations. While many congregations in the Western world have few or no new vocations and even seem to be dying out, in other parts of the world the religious communities are filled with young and smiling faces.

It is vital that the indispensable work of religious sisters in Christ’s Holy Catholic Church and throughout the missions worldwide continues. Religious sisters are the unsung heroines in the Church. ACN is therefore proud to help them in their efforts to make the world a better place. The average grant ACN gives to support a religious sister or novice is $300 - but whatever you can afford will be enormously appreciated. ACN forwards the donations directly to the religious superiors in charge of the religious communities and congregations.

Anyone able to help this cause will be sent a complimentary Vatican Rosary blessed by Pope Francis. The Papal rosary features the crucifix from the crozier of Pope John Paul II and a centre medal of Pope Francis and his coat of arms.

To send your online donation please click on this link and select the donation you would like to give. If you would like to receive the complimentary Papal rosary please simply write in the optional Comments box when prompted "For Religious Sisters and Rosary". You can also call the ACN office on 02 9679-1929 and give your donation over the phone.


"Persecuted and Forgotten?" 2013 Edition - ACN Report on Christians oppressed for their faith

In many countries the situation of Christians has sharply deteriorated. This is the finding of Persecuted and Forgotten? the 2013 report on Christians oppressed for their Faith. The report examines the situation of Christians in 30 different countries, including Afghanistan, China, Laos, Pakistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. In particular it analyses the situation in a number of majority Islamic countries and in those states whose political systems have a pronounced authoritarian character.

For Christians the so-called "Arab spring" has in many cases become what the report calls a "Christian winter". Although the political upheavals have brought suffering to people of all faith communities, nonetheless it is above all the Christian confessions that have experienced the most open hostility and violence. They have become victims of every kind of political, economic, social and religious conflict - for example the conflicts between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. As a result, a great many Christians have been forced to flee. The report describes the exodus as reaching "almost biblical proportions".

According to the information presented in Persecuted and Forgotten? the influence of fundamentalist Islamist groups has increased markedly in the past two-and-a-half years. They represent possibly the greatest threat to religious freedom in the world today. Their goal is the elimination, or at the very least the subjugation, of Christians. In communist countries to the efforts have increased to exert control over the Christian population. However, in these countries Christians tend to be persecuted above all on account of their contacts with dissidents and with the West, and not so much on account of their faith alone. In North Korea there is no official recognition of any religious activities, while those that are tolerated are strictly controlled. China continues to insist on asserting its authority over all Christian groups, especially over those not registered with the State.

Drawing on the latest Christian persecution reports available and first-hand testimony, Persecuted and Forgotten? describes the struggles faced by Christian communities who are prevented from practicing their faith and living normal lives. It is for these people that Catholic charities like Aid to the Church in Need exist.

Religious liberty as a fundamental human right is being neglected by world public opinion, above all by politicians and the media. And yet religious liberty is one of the most vital preconditions for democracy. You will find no better summary about your fellow Christian brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted for their faith. Please pray for them.

To read the whole report click HERE (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report)

To read a short one page summary of the report click HERE

Persecution mapped out. To view a world map of where persecution is worsening for Christians click HERE


christian persecutionReligious Freedom in the World - Report 2012

The report, published every two years, examines the degree of religious freedom in 196 countries worldwide and covers the year 2011 and the major events of the year 2012. Country by country, the study not only covers the Christian faith but all religious minorities suffering persecution or oppression. As a Catholic charity we believe that religious liberty should apply equally to all religious groups who wish to practise their faith without fear or discrimination.

Overall the report finds that the threats to religious freedom are not diminishing. Even if some improvements seem to have emerged at a legislative level, in reality there have been no significant improvements. Countries that once enjoyed relative calm, such as Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria, are now cause for serious concern. Furthermore, the pressure of Islamic extremism on African countries such as Kenya, Mali, Nigeria and Chad, has increased and threatens to destabilize an entire and important area of Africa.

In Pakistan, the anti-blasphemy laws and the hostility towards Christianity within society continue to cause grave damage, both to the legal process and in terms of outright violence (notably, the murder of the Governor of the Punjab, Salman Taseer and that of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Minorities and a Catholic). In neighbouring India, so-called 'anti-conversion laws' and the abuses of power that derive from them, now appear to be spreading at a local level in a number of states despite the fact that the national Constitution acknowledges the right to religious freedom.

While the Report concerns all suffering or oppressed religious minorities there is no doubt that Christians are the group most exposed to persecution. This finding is also confirmed by other reports on the subject, including those provided by international organisations. Although the number of Christians of different confessions in difficulty because of legal or cultural structures around the world is not known for sure, last year Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Holy See's Secretary for Relations with States, estimated these to be more than 200 million.

Please click here to read a summary of the report. The full report is only available on CD-Rom. Produced in six languages, the CD-Rom can be obtained via our On Line store for a donation of $4.00.


The help ACN provides for religious sisters around the world

For many people, women religious are the visible face of the Catholic Church. Around the world they are responsible for a whole range of vital pastoral and social initiatives. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the service they render. Frequently they work, without remuneration, in places where no one else wishes to go or help. They belong to many different religious communities and congregations - charitable, contemplative and missionary. Around the world these women care, quite literally, for everyone and everything - for children and adults, for orphans, the sick and the dying, for those who are lost and for those who seek, for the victims, the violated, the traumatised.

Despite the numerous challenges and difficult conditions, the number of callings in Africa has grown by 28% and in Asia by 18% over the last years. This extraordinary growth of professed sisters has given rise to increasing requests from novitiates world-wide to ACN in support of formation and professional training.

ACN over the last ten years, has provided over $16.6 million for contemplative sisters, $71 million to active sisters and $3 million for the formation of novices.

Please click here to view the short film. For more video clips please go to our Video page.


Argentina, History and Present

On 13 March 2013,  the Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope.

The former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, today Pope Francis, has touched Argentinean society and has given hope for a renewal in Argentina's Catholic faith.

However what is the reality of this country?
What has been its history that places Argentina in front of his current challenges?

Aid to the Church in Need prepared a short film about this country and its Faith.

Please click here to view the short film. For more video clips please go to our Video page.


Haiti 4 years after the Earthquake

On Tuesday, January 12th, 2010, a few minutes before 5 in the afternoon, an earthquake devastated Haiti, leaving at least 230,000 dead and affecting more than 3 million in a population of 9 million.

The situation is still dramatic, with close to 200,000 people living in tents, but for the Catholic Church there is a notable increase in vocations and in parishes, where faith is being lived in a more genuine way and in a spirit of great solidarity. Today the strength of the Haitian people is their faith in God, which helps them to stand up and look at the future with hope.

This video looks at the way the Catholic Church is gradually rebuilding its presence from the ground up.

Please click here to view the short film. For more video clips please go to our Video page.


Catholic News: This week's featured project 22 April 2014

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Help for the construction of the Pope John Paul II youth pastoral centre in Sarajevo


Youth members and advisers visiting the partially completed Pope John Paul II pastoral centre © Aid to the Church in Need

  After the collapse of Yugoslavia, a brutal civil war raged for three years, between 1992 and 1995, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. By the time it ended 243,000 people had lost their lives, while a further 2 million people had been uprooted and "ethnically cleansed" as a result of the parcelling up of the republic. A great many churches, convents and monasteries, parishes and other Church properties were deliberately destroyed. The scars of this war are still visible, even 19 years after it ended.
  Despite his advanced age and ill-health, Pope John Paul II would not be deterred from travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the homily he gave here, he said: "I embrace you, beloved sons and daughters of this pilgrim Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to say to you that you hold an important place in the heart of the Pope. He constantly brings before the Lord the sufferings that still render your path difficult, and he shares with you, full of hope, your waiting for better days." He also added that he was praying that God might "pour into all the desire for mutual forgiveness. Only in an atmosphere of true reconciliation will the memory of so many innocent victims and of their death not have been in vain, but will instead encourage us to build new relationships of fraternal love and understanding."
  Now, in the capital Sarajevo, a youth pastoral centre is being built, which will bear the name of this great Pope. In fact, the first phase of the work has already been completed, and the second phase is now beginning. In this centre young people from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to meet together, either as individuals or in groups, and take part in pastoral meetings, training sessions and leisure activities. The building offers the possibility of overnight accommodation, so that meetings and sessions of several days duration can be organised. The motto of the centre is "Encounter and reconciliation - shaping a peaceful future together". The director of the centre, Father Simo Marsic explains: "The young people of Bosnia are looking for role models and for a better future. They long for true values and for understanding between the various different ethnic groups. Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims must learn how to shape the future together."
  It is not by chance that this centre will bear the name of Pope John Paul II. As the rector explains, "The central idea in choosing this name was the fact that Pope John Paul II was a builder of bridges between people of different origins and beliefs. This bridge building is absolutely appropriate to the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Balkans as a whole and indeed in Europe too. Pope John Paul II saw young people as "bearers of the future", and it was in this sense that in the year 2000, at the World Youth Day in Rome, he entrusted to them the future of our country, as he did again during his visit to Banja Luka in 2003. We understand these words as our mission for the work of our youth centre."
  The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is helping, with a contribution of $290,000 for the construction of the centre.
  The vital work of Catholic charities like Aid to the Church In Need provide a lifeline to the Church wherever she is poor, persecuted or threatened. Please help our work by donating online or send your donation to Aid to the Church in Need, PO Box 7246 Baulkham Hills NSW 2153. Ph: (02) 9679-1929

e-mail: info@aidtochurch.org Web: www.aidtochurch.org

Click here for past weeks' featured projects


Catholic News: Reports for you to read about the work of Aid to the Church in Need

Please note that you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader (AAR) to view these reports. You can download AAR free of charge from the net by going to the Adobe website. To open a report simple click on the cover of the report you are interested in.
Child Bible Report Child Bible Report

ACN is unique from other Catholic Charities as it offers pastoral assistance and Catholic news to the Church wherever she is poor or suffering under Christian persecution.


HOME | NEWS & FEATURES | ABOUT US | HISTORY | ONLINE STORE | ONLINE DONATIONS | VIDEOS
DONATE NOW - HOW TO DONATE | SUPPORT | THE MIRROR | BEQUESTS | MASS OFFERINGS | CONTACT
Aid to the Church in Need PO Box 7246 Baulkham Hills NSW 2153 ABN: 62 418 911 594
Ph/Fax (02) 9679-1929   e-mail: info@aidtochurch.org   web: www.aidtochurch.org

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