SAY A PRAYER

FOR THE MARTYRS AND WITNESSES OF LOVE

SAY A PRAYER

FOR THE MARTYRS AND WITNESSES OF LOVE

OVERVIEW

Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world today. A fact many people are not aware of.

Who suffer persecution for their religious beliefs worldwide are Christian

Christians live in countries where there is religious persecution
Christians live in countries where there is discrimination on religious grounds

Testimonials

NIGERIA

PAKISTAN

SYRIA

IRAQ

ACN PROJECTS

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is a Pontifical charity that supports over 5,000 projects worldwide – and providing emergency and pastoral relief in 139 countries around the world. ACN is committed to reporting human rights violations against Christians around the world. We give persecuted Christians a voice.

Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa. 45% of the approximately 200 million people are Christian, and they live predominantly in the south. In the north, they are threatened by Boko Haram, and in the central part of the country, they face the menace of heavily armed Muslim Fulani shepherds, who are increasingly taking action against Christians. Despite all the violence and threats, Nigerian Christians continue to stand firm in their faith. “We are a suffering Church, but even amid this great travail and persecution, the good Lord continues to bless his Church with more vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The Diocese of Maiduguri has currently 53 Major Seminarians. We stand today as a witness and testimony of the wonderful work and kind generosity for the course of the Gospel,” wrote Mgr. Dr. Oliver Dashe Doeme, Bishop of the Diocese of Maiduguri. ACN supports the formation of seminarians in Nigeria with prayers and financial aid. Stand by the Nigerian Christians and let their love for Jesus prevail over the violence of their enemies.

“VOCATIONS IN THE MIDST OF PERSECUTION”

In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Christians are an underprivileged class. “In Pakistan, a Muslim country, the general belief is that Christians are Western products and, therefore, they do not belong in the country. But, we are Christians, and we are people of this land. We fully belong to this country,” said Mgr. Dr. Joseph Arshad, President of the Bishops’ Conference. The nonexistence of government initiatives to uplift the economic status of Christians presents a grim future. The quota system, implemented in many political and academic institutions, creates reverse discrimination, where members of the majority feel discriminated. The level of education among Christians is low. Although many communities have their own schools, many children still attend state schools with Islamic education. In this context, catechists play a key role in working on the basis and teaching the fundaments of the faith. ACN supports the pastoral work of Catechists in Pakistan with prayers and financial aid. Stand by our suffering brothers and sisters in Faith in Pakistan.

CHRISTIAN FAITH IN A MUSLIM COUNTRY

In Pakistan, Islam is the state religion, and the Constitution requires that laws be consistent with Islam. The Christian minority faces a hostile environment in the court during trials, in most cases. The pressure created by extremist groups causes the procedures of the court to take longer than usual. For instance, in March 2015, after two Catholic Churches in Lahore were attacked, causing the death of at least 14 people and wounding more than 70, Christians were accused of lynching two suspects. The police arrested around 150 Christians, 90 were booked under various charges. Over the years, more than 240 judicial hearings about the cases were held, and yet no bail has been granted. Many Christians in Pakistan are poorly educated and relegated to living in slums and working menial jobs, which worsens the situation. ACN supports with prayers and financial aid the Commission for Justice and Peace, which provides Free Legal Counsel for the families of the victims. Stand by the Pakistani Christians and let their faith in Jesus prevail over the persecution of their enemies.

PURSUING JUSTICE AND PEACE IN PAKISTAN

After three years of siege and civil war, in December 2017, Iraq was liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham. The territories freed from the ISIS are wracked. Unemployment and economic decline still prevail, and millions of people are dependent on humanitarian aid. Thousands of Christians were killed in the war, and many more fled the country. Currently, about 250.000 Christians are living in Iraq. Christians in Iraq have always faced many challenges because they are associated with foreign forces. They endure discrimination, persecution, attacks, and some even pay with their lives the price for keeping their faith. "Christians in Iraq have the right to live with dignity and freedom. Nonetheless, this situation is a way of giving testimony in a world seeking hope," wrote Fr. Ragheed Ganni three years before he was killed in Mosul. ACN supports many projects in Iraq with prayers and financial aid. One of the 40 projects that we financed last year is the reconstruction of the Al-Tahira Church, which is of a great significance for Christians in Nineveh Plains. Stand by our suffering brothers and sisters in Faith in Iraq.

REBUILD THE COMMUNITY IN IRAQ

In 2014, Qaraqosh was occupied by ISIS, and the city was extensively destroyed. After the liberation in December 2017, people who have remained started to rebuild the community. It is estimated that 46% of its citizens have returned. Young people are still reluctant to come back because of the lack of work and job perspectives in the region of Nineveh Plains. Nonetheless, the sisters of the congregation Daughters of the Mother of Mercy are a sign of resilience and hope to Christians. Founded in 1901 by the Syriac Catholic Patriarch to educate and serve the needy, the congregation established its first convent in Iraq in 2010. The convent, in Qaraqosh, was badly damaged during the occupation of ISIS. ACN’s involvement in the reconstruction of Christian settlements in the Nineveh Plains is our largest aid project in recent decades. Our help aims to prevent Christianity in the Middle East from being eradicated. We support the local church in Iraq wherever we can, with prayer and financial aid. Stand by the Christians in Iraq, and help them keep the Faith alive.

SISTERS ARE SIGN OF HOPE IN IRAQ

The conflict in Syria is the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time, according to UNHCR. The crisis enters its ninth year, and the needs of people in Syria remain overwhelming; civilians continue to be the first victims of a conflict marked by unprecedented suffering, destruction, and disregard for human life. The population still depends on the emergency aid provided by the Church to survive. The Jesuit Fathers are at the service of the vulnerable people who have remained in the country. They support their communities by providing them with the necessary spiritual, psychological, moral, and financial support. It is the spiritual support that allows people to rebuild their lives and heal their trauma, especially for the children who have suffered so much and who have been deeply affected by the violence of the conflict. Helping children to learn to manage their emotions and needs and to regain their joy of life is an important and urgent challenge, a challenge that the Jesuit fathers in Homs want to meet through several pastoral activities. ACN supports the local church in Syria with prayers and financial aid. Stand by the Christians in Syria and help them to keep the Faith alive.

KEEPING THE FAITH ALIVE IN SYRIA

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”Today in the world, in Europe, many Christians are persecuted and they give their lives for their faith; or they are persecuted with white gloves, that is, they are left aside, marginalized.”​

Pope Francis

Today in the world, in Europe, many Christians are persecuted and they give their lives for their faith; or they are persecuted with white gloves, that is, they are left aside, marginalized.

Pope Francis

“I invite you all, together with ACN, to do everywhere in the world, a work of mercy.”

Contact

Aid to the Church in Need (Canada)
Postal Box 670, Station H
Montréal, QC H3G 2M6

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As a Pontifical Charity, Aid to the Church in Need has the mandate to act on behalf of the Church.

Copyright: ACN Aid to the Church in Need International
ACN – Aid to the Church in Need gGmbH, HRB 8446 is non-profit organization officially registered in Germany and audited internationally by KPMG.

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