News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

ACN one.jpeg
UK News

Religious freedom charity increases support to persecution victims as Covid hits hard

by Donna Birrell

The Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, is thanking supporters after they increased their giving enabling it to step up its response to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Benefactors donated £14 million more last year than in 2019 as the charity rushed out emergency Covid-19 projects amid growing persecution around the world.

Dr Thomas Heine-Geldern, executive president of ACN (International), said:

"Not only did the pandemic turn our own work upside down, but it also dramatically worsened the plight of Christians in many regions of the world, who found themselves literally, almost overnight, without work, pay or food."

Dr Heine-Geldern added: "In this emergency, however, ACN's benefactors remained true to the charity. This great generosity leaves us feeling profoundly grateful.

"It was quite unforeseen, especially since the crisis has inflicted profound economic insecurity and difficulties on us all."
According to the charity's international annual accounts, ACN's 23 offices around the world raised more than £104 million in 2020.

Neville Kyrke-Smith, national director of Aid to the Church in Need's UK office - which raised £11.3 million in 2020 - also thanked benefactors for their outstanding generosity, but stressed that there was still a challenge to support the persecuted Church :

"We are so grateful to our benefactors, who came to the aid of their suffering brothers and sisters when the global coronavirus pandemic was casting its shadow over everything in 2020.

"Many priests, particularly in Africa and Latin America, relied our benefactors' Mass stipends - for some pastors this was their only source of income during lockdown."

Aid for Africa increased to 32.6 percent (from 29.6 in 2019), caused not only by the coronavirus crisis but also by the growing threat of Islamist extremism. 

Dr Heine-Geldern said: "We are greatly concerned, particularly for the countries of the Sahel region, where there has been an explosion of terrorism. 

"The pandemic has made the situation of the uprooted refugees yet more difficult, and in many cases the Church is the only institution still remaining to support the people". 

Asia was another priority region, receiving 18% of the charity's aid in 2020.

According to one analysis, there were 327 incidents of discrimination or persecution against Christians in India last year, despite several lengthy coronavirus lockdowns.

A total of 4,758 projects worldwide were supported by ACN last year. The UK office of the charity supported 394 projects in 82 countries.
 
 
 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate