Pakistan, 2021: William Arif Khan and security guards at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore.
Catholic volunteer guards in Pakistan are preparing to defend their churches in the run-up to Easter, a time when Christian communities around the world face a heightened threat of terrorist attack.

With global concern peaking in the wake of the Palm Sunday (28th March) suicide bomb at a cathedral in Indonesia, William Arif Khan, who heads up a team of security volunteers in Lahore, stressed the need for extra vigilance.

Mr Khan, in charge of 15 security volunteers at Lahore’s Sacred Heart Cathedral, told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN): “For the past 12 years, I have been leading young men dedicated to support the 12 security guards stationed at the cathedral.
“We don’t expect any rewards… All of them are on the job and dedicate their holiday to the Church.” 

He added: “Everybody is afraid of the terrorists. But we stand for the one who protects us all. Our faith tells us that God won’t let us down.”

Mr Khan explained that the security arrangements are decided at the highest levels of both the Church and the police.

He said: “Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore usually honours senior police officials for providing security at event masses… Security arrangements have strengthened Church ties with local police.”
Read more here
Pakistan Appeal
Reaching out to the poorest of the poor

A group of intrepid nuns, determined to reach out to the poorest of the poor in a remote Christian village in the Punjab province, have turned to ACN for help. Read more here.
Lenten Lunch:
If you missed our Lenten Sunday Lunch for Lebanon then you can watch it here on CATCH UP. We see behinds to scenes at the St John the Merciful Table, an ACN funded project which feeds over 1,500 people every single day. We also hear from those who use the Table for their daily meals and speak live to Archbishop Darwish, who helps to run this vital project here.
Lenten Service for ACN
CATCH UP on the beautiful Stations of the Cross sung the London Oratory Schola Schola Cantorum, filmed in the Brompton Oratory and directed by Charles Cole. The perfect way to end Holy Week. Watch it here
ACN’s Religious Freedom in the World report launch
Throughout the world, religious believers are persecuted because of their faith. According to the BBC, over a million Turkic Uighurs are detained in concentration camps, prisons and forced labour factories in China.  The Yazidis and Christians of Iraq are still recovering from genocide at the hands of Daesh (ISIS), where women were sold into sexual slavery in open marketplaces. 
Please join us on 20th April for the virtual launch of ACN’s Religious Freedom in the World report, which assesses the extent to which this core human right is upheld in 196 countries, every country on earth. Find out more here.
ACN Shop
This Easter, due to COVID, Bethlehem will be devoid of tourists once again, and the people are struggling to make ends meet. Help us to help them by purchasing our olive wood, and other, products today – help support them and give them hope.
Olive Wood Rosary
Buy it here.
Pocket Holding Cross
Buy it here.

For many Christians around the world Easter is a dangerous time. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers this weekend in the hope that they, like us, will be able to celebrate the Resurrection in peace.

Copyright © 2021 Aid to the Church in Need, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.