Mons. Antoine Chbeir bishop of the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Latakia and Tartus Picture from the trip to Lebanon of Communication Department © Aid to the Church in Need

Having just recently completed seven years of conflict, the situation in Syria is starting to deteriorate again, according to Maronite Bishop Antoine Chbeir of Tartus

ACN (Josué Villalón, Tartus).- The day-to-day life of a Syrian family in Tartus, a region controlled by the government and far from the bombing in Damascus, continues to be very difficult. The duration of the conflict has recently reached seven years, the situation is now critical. This was the view expressed by Maronite Bishop Antoine Chbeir, who spoke to a visiting team from the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) who are currently visiting Syria and evaluating various pastoral and emergency aid projects.

"Cavlvary of Christians:Persecuted Christians Testify" Conference at the Lithuanian Parliament in Vilnius, Luthuania on 26th of March 2018 © Aid to the Church in Need

Red lights to illuminate cathedrals in Lithuania and Syria for the modern martyrs following Conference “Calvary of Christians: Persecuted Christians testify” at the Lithuanian Parliament

On Monday 26 March at 20:00 (19:00 CET) the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) together with the Lithuanian government and Catholic Bishops’ Conference will light in red the Cathedral of Vilnius, the Basilica of the Resurrection in Kaunas and the historical Three Crosses statue overlooking Vilnius, in union with the Greek Melkite Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace and Syrian Orthodox Cathedral of Our Lady of the Belt in Homs, Syria.

“Lithuania has a painful experience and recent memory of repression and persecution; we want to give our support to the victims of fundamentalism with prayer and public action”, states Dr. Laima Andrikiené, Member of the European Parliament for Vilnius.

Congo - Brazzaville, February 2018 Father Franck Bongo,the Diocesan Econome in Ouesso © Aid to the Church in Need

The story of an unusual apostolate.

Father Franck Bango is the parish priest of the first ever pygmy parish in the country, in the diocese Ouesso in the north of the Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville). He lives among the smallest people in the world, an indigenous and nomadic people, whose homeland is the equatorial forest in the border regions of Congo, Cameroon and Gabon. They live by hunting, fishing and gathering and are threatened by the growing exploitation of the rainforest. Their numbers are estimated at somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 people. Father Franck spoke to ACN at the end of February 2018.

RUSSIA / NIZHNIJ-NOVGOROD Renovation of the rooms of the counseling center for pregnant women in Zelenyi gorod of the eparchy Nizhniy Novgorod © Aid to the Church in Need

The Orthodox Church has set up a crisis centre for women in Nizhny Novgorod with the help of the Catholic Church. In celebration of the “International Day of the Unborn Child” on 25 March, Peter Humeniuk, Russia expert of the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need, talks about how the two Churches are working together to help women and children in need. The interview was held by Eva-Maria Kolmann.

Signature of a contract for the reconstruction of 12.000 homes in Iraq (Erbil, 27.03.2017).© Aid to the Church in Need

SYRIAC-ORTHODOX Archbishop Mar Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf heads the Archeparchy of Mosul, Kirkuk and Syriac Orthodox Church. In this interview, conducted by Ragheb Elias Karash for the foundation Aid to the Church in Need (USA), he addresses the plight of Christians in northern Iraq. 

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