VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Aid to the Church in Need raised over 111 million euros ($125 million) in 2018 to help support persecuted Christians, particularly in the Middle East where tens of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee their homes due to ongoing war and conflicts over the last decade.
Releasing its 2018 annual report June 20, the Vatican-recognized foundation that assists minority Christian communities and people persecuted for their faith said the donations funded “no fewer than 5,019 pastoral projects in some 139 different countries” with 27% of the donations going to Africa and 25% to the Middle East.
Projects in the Middle East have increased since the 2011 Arab Spring, the foundation said. In the past seven years, it said, the foundation has devoted to the region “a total of 99 million euros ($111.8 million), of which over 18 million euros ($20.3 million) were in 2018 alone.”
Over 12% of the total aid, the report said, went to assisting thousands of Christians in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, and funded the rebuilding of nearly 1,500 Christian homes.
The other nations in the top five for foundation-supported projects were India, Ukraine and Congo.
Among the projects supported by the funds collected by the Catholic aid group were 23.2 million euros ($26.2 million) for construction or reconstruction of homes, chapels, churches, convents, seminaries and pastoral centers.
Donations also funded the formation of candidates for the priesthood and religious life, education initiatives, transportation as well as the purchase and distribution of Bibles and other religious literature.
In a statement released by Aid to the Church in Need, the foundation said the annual report’s figures testified to its support, “in a spirit of closeness, to the oppressed and persecuted church” as well as its ability to “react promptly” in areas where Christians are attacked.
The donations, the statement said, demonstrate “that faith has the power to overcome hatred.”
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103