We consider it our task and responsibility to support the Church, particularly in areas where Christians are suffering due to the consequences of war, oppression, religious persecution and other forms of violence.
Through our decades long experience, we have learned that dialogue with the local Church is of the highest importance. We know that it is not us, but the local bishops, clergy and religious, who know better than we do where the needs are the greatest and what relief measures are necessary to apply to each specific case.
With this process in place, our focus for aid projects in recent years, has been in the Middle East, where the faithful are exposed on the daily to the arbitrariness and violence of Daesh (Islamic State) and other extemist Islamist groups causing ramped destruction, displacing thousands of people internally and as refugees throughout the Middle East. Therefore, aid projects in Syria and Iraq will continue to rank high on our agenda such as the collaborative reconstruction project in the Nineveh Plains where some of the oldest communities of Christians in the Middle East have resided for centuries. When Isis invaded in 2014, their villages were completely destroyed, forcing the people to die or flee, their homes and communities and infrastructures became uninhabitable. ACN has helped in the rebuilding, allowing some brave souls to return home and start again. (Read more here)
Christians in many countries in Africa also suffer from the persecution and violence of radical Islamism. At the same time, Africa is the continent with the strongest growth in believers. Our funding for Africa takes these developments into account, as more than a quarter of our overall project budget went to the local churches of African countries in 2018.
In Asia, on the other hand, our priority is in regions such as Pakistan and the Philippines, where radical Islamism is also on the rise.
We are also active in India, where an increasingly radical Hinduism persecutes and oppresses the Christian minority with violence in many places.
China, Vietnam and Laos, which have suffered under communist power structures for decades, also remain on our list.