religion Tag



15.11.2016 in ACN International, Adaptation Mario Bard, AED Canada, liberté religieuse, MONDE


ACN Report on Religious Freedom Rapport 2016 

“Hyper-extremism” : a threat to World Peace

"I cannot go on living here", laments the father of David, one of the boys killed by the Isis bomb in Qaraqosh. "This country is drenched with blood". The mother, a young woman clothed completely in mourning, buries her head in her hands, weeping. (This was the hardest moment in the trip, please pray for her and for the whole family)

Religious Fundamentalism – more lethal than ever seen before – is unleashing death, destruction, displacement and instability at unprecedented levels, according to a report out today.  This is at least what is concluded in the report published today – online in Canada – by the international pontifical charity, Aid to the Church in Need.

“The Religious Freedom in the World 2016 report, produced by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, warns of the global impact of “a new phenomenon of religiously-motivated violence,” which it terms “Islamist hyper-extremism.”

In defining this new ultra-extremism, the report highlights distinguishing features which are described as evidence of the radicals’ threat to world peace, stability and social harmony in the West.

Iraq, December 2014 A woman with a child at the “Werenfried” centre at the129 District of Ankawa. IRAQ / NATIONAL 14/00247, 150 PVC caravans in Ankawa district for use as emergency accommodation for IDPs (Internally Displaced Peoples) forced from their homes by IS

In fact, key characteristics of “Islamist hyper-extremism” include systematic attempts to drive out all dissenting groups – including moderates, unprecedented levels of cruelty, global reach and the effective use of social media, often used to glamorize violence.

Adding its voice to calls for Daesh (ISIS) persecution to be recognized as genocide, the report’s authors warn of a widespread attempt to replace pluralism with a religious mono-culture.



Extremism threatens diversity

The report, which assesses the situation regarding religious freedom in each of the world’s 196 countries, concludes: “In parts of the Middle East including Iraq and Syria, this hyper-extremism is eliminating all forms of religious diversity and is threatening to do so in parts of African and the Asian Sub-Continent.”


(From left to right) Bishop Joseph Arshad, Father Emmanuel Pervez, footballer Salim Bad and Sumundri Football Club Manager Mohammed Shafiq.

Father Mourad during the press conferece in Rome

Father Mourad during the press conferece in Rome

This is echoed in the report’s foreword by Father Jacques Mourad, a Christian monk who was held by Daesh in Syria for five months before escaping in October 2015.

Fr Mourad writes: “Our world teeters on the brink of complete catastrophe as extremism threatens to wipe out all trace of diversity in society.”

This 13th biennial report, which draws on research by journalists, academics and clergy, records that in the two-year period under review from June 2014 to June 2016, attacks linked to “hyper-extremism” had taken place in one out of five countries worldwide (or 20%) – from Australia to Sweden as well as 17 African countries.

Countering the popular view that governments are mostly to blame for persecution, the report puts the blame on non-state militants in 12 of the 23 worst-offending countries. With refugee numbers at a new high of 65.3 million according to the United Nations, the report describes extremist Islamism as a “key driver” in the massive displacement of people fleeing countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria.



Some slight improvement

Refugee centre for Yazidi families who had to leave their villages in Northern Iraq because of approaching ISIS fighters. Yazidis are located in several centres around Kurdistan, majority of them being in Zakhu and Dohuk regions.The Aid to the Church in Need report goes on to highlight the ‘domino effect’ on countries in the West whose socio-religious fabric is being destabilized by the arrival of unprecedented numbers of refugees.

Such problems are, according to the report, compounded by the West falling victim to a sudden increase in fundamentalist Islamist attacks.

According to the report, however, not all problems regarding religious freedom are to do with militant Islam – with a “renewed crackdown” on religious groups reported in China and Turkmenistan and an ongoing denial of human rights for people of faith in worst-offending North Korea and Eritrea where human-rights are practically non-existent.




Nor is the outlook universally bleak – looking at Bhutan, Egypt and Qatar, countries notorious for religious freedom violations, the report found that the situation had improved for faith minorities during the period under review.

This is the 13th edition of this report produced by Aid to the Church in Need. The charity provides emergency aid and help for persecuted and other suffering Christians in 140 countries around the world.

The ‘Religious Freedom in the World’ 2016 report’

is available at  www.acn-aed-ca.org/religious-freedom-report









Central African Republic: ACN invites all to an International Day of Prayer for Peace in the Central African Republic on 21 July

17.07.2013 in ACN Canada, ACN International, Central Africa, Prayer

In view of the dramatic situation in the Central African Republic, the Catholic pastoral charity “Aid to the Church in Need” is issuing an invitation to take part in an international Day of Prayer for Peace. The initiative came from the Discalced Carmelites in the Ligurian province of Italy, who have five missions in the Central African Republic. It is intended that religious communities and “all believers of good will” in the world take part.


20130716_012On Sunday 21, July Holy Mass will be celebrated for this cause in many churches in Italy, Central Africa and numerous other countries in communion with the mission in the Central African Republic.”The aim is to ask God to grant peace in the Central African Republic, where the Catholic Church suffers from the desecration of places of worship, robbery and looting in the parishes, missions, schools and health centres,”, as Father Davide Sollami explained to “Aid to the Church in Need”. For several months now a veritable “prayer marathon” had already been in progress in the Carmelite community of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, he added.


Father Sollami reported: “The missionaries living in the Central African Republic have learned that the population loves them. Nobody has betrayed the members of the religious communities to the rebels. Since the war the churches have been getting steadily fuller and more and more people are coming to pray. If we all act together our prayer will rise to God like a chorus and there will be between us a day of community which we who work for His Peace wish to be.”


20130716_006Christine du Coudray, the Head of the Africa Section of “Aid to the Church in Need”, explained: “When politicians seem to be deaf to all appeals to reason, we Christians believe that our distress and our cry will be heard by the Virgin Mary and her Son. We are taking part in this Day of Prayer for the Central African Republic with infinite trust and we invite everyone to join us. Deus semper maior (God is always greater)!”


Christine Coudray went on to say that, since the Séléka rebels seized power on 24 March of this year, the Central African Republic had descended further and further into chaos. Church institutions in particular had had to suffer from lootings and attacks by the rebels. There had repeatedly been reports from Church circles that a growing islamization of the country was evident.


“Aid to the Church in Need” recently granted the Catholic Church in the Central African Republic further emergency aid to the tune of $218,438.00.


Bolivia – Support for the life and ministry of the “Hermanas Marianitas”

25.06.2013 in ACN Canada, ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, CONSECRATED LIFE, EVANGILIZATION, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need


The following series of texts has the objective of introducing you to the many kinds of aid needed by various organizations, parishes or Catholic communities throughout the world.  We invite you to travel with us to every  continent, that you may see how very important your support is.


Enjoy the read !


By ACN International

Adapted by AB Griffin, ACN Canada

After Haiti, Bolivia is the poorest country in Latin America. Two thirds of its close to 11 million inhabitants – the great majority of whom belong to the indigenous population – live in poverty and 40% of them in what is classed as extreme poverty. Roughly 83% of the population is Catholic.

In the diocese of Cochabamba there are more than one and a half million Catholics. They are ministered to by just 130 diocesan and religious priests – a ratio of almost 12,000 Catholic faithful for each priest. The average size of each parish is approximately 442 km² – almost double the size of a city like Vancouver, Canada.

In the south of the diocese of Cochabamba, in the region of Alto Pagador, four nuns belonging to the congregation of the Hermanas Marianitas (Marian Sisters) are engaged in offering pastoral care. In a region where there is a great deal of poverty and high unemployment, medical provisions are scarce and basic – nor is there running water or proper drainage. Many women attempt to make a living through illegal trade, while the men who do have work, toil on building sites or work as taxi drivers. Yet the cost of living is climbing constantly, and even when both husband and wife have work, their income is often still not enough to feed their families. Many families break up as a result of the strain.

BOLIVIE-2Father Marco Verberckt writes: “For over 10 years the sisters have been devoted, heart, life and soul, to the work of pastoral care in this parish, above all in the Mary of Nazareth Centre, where they are the ones mainly responsible for the pastoral work. They care above all for needy children and women and provide a midday meals service for schoolchildren. They are engaged in catechetical work with the children and young people and in guiding and encouraging the various youth groups and the childhood and youth missionary groups.”

Two of the sisters also teach in a local school, but the salary they receive is not enough to cover their basic needs. ACN is helping with a contribution of $1,570 to help cover the most basic costs of their life and ministry that they can continue in their vocation to give their lives for others.

If you wish to make a donation, please call us:  (514) 932-0552 or 1 800 585 6333