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France: The Night of Witnesses 2022 – Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) presents three testimonies of persecuted Christians


Thousands of people physically or virtually attended The Night of Witnesses (La Nuit des Témoins), a series of events under this name organized by the pontifical international charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) from January 22 to 28, 2022, throughout France.

During these vigils, the portraits of 13 martyrs murdered for their faith in 2021 were carried in procession to the altars of the cathedrals and basilicas that hosted the Night of Witnesses in Marseille, Albi, Cambrai, Chartres and Paris. Four of them came from Nigeria, one of the most dangerous countries for Christians.

During this 13th edition of the Night of Witnesses, guests from Nigeria, Armenia and Sri Lanka gave a strong and courageous testimony of what Christians are going through in their countries.

In Nigeria, martyred by civil war, jihadist attacks specifically target Christians. Bishop Doeme is the bishop of Maiduguri, the “capital” of the Islamist sect Boko Haram. His testimony of hope strongly touched the assembly: “The gunshots and the bombs do not prevent our people from going to Mass with the same fervour. The terrorists can destroy everything in our country, but they cannot destroy one thing: our faith. Indeed, our people are bold, courageous and show a strong determination to serve their God despite the obstacles.”

In Armenia, in the mountainous region of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), the predominantly Armenian and Christian population experienced a terrible humiliation during the 44 days of war in late 2020 between the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh and the Azerbaijani army. Sister Haguinta Marudian, a nun of the Armenian community of the Immaculate Conception, testifies: “The War in Artsakh was a source of great pain. In our chapel, all we could hear was the humming of the rosary beads slipping through the innocent little fingers of the children, with their silent tears flowing (…) After the ceasefire, many families returned to Artsakh, but often they found their homes in disrepair.”

Sister Haguinta Maroudian, Religious Sister of the Immaculate Conception and Armenian.

Christians in Sri Lanka have felt threatened since the 2019 Easter suicide bombings that killed 258 people. The country’s small Christian community has suffered a terrible shock. Through the courageous voice of Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the Church has been steadfast in calling for the truth about the attacks. “It is now clear to us that the former leaders, especially the former president, even though they knew about the attack, did not take any action to prevent it and allowed it to happen. Absent for security reasons, he transmitted his message by video (see below), completed by the testimony of Father Janith Kushalya, present in Sri Lanka at the time of the attacks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlUx5dap7t4.

The Benedictine nuns of Montmartre, at the service of prayer, include Christians who are victims of persecution and discrimination in their prayer in the heart of Paris.

Through Our Prayers and Our Closeness

For Benoit de Blanpré, director of ACN France, ‘each Night of Witnesses is a unique opportunity to bring us closer to our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters. Through our prayers and our closeness, we try to comfort them in the midst of their suffering and they, through their unfailing hope, revive our faith!’

See or re-watch the entire Night of Witness broadcast live by KTO TV channel from the Basilica of Montmartre.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt1wpG_qPeE.

The Benedictine nuns of Montmartre, in the service of prayer, include Christians who are victims of persecution and discrimination in their prayer in the heart of Paris.

Please continue to pray
for the discriminated and persecuted Christians.
Thank you!

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