Aid being distributed in Hazaribag Diocese, India (Images © Aid to the Church in Need)
Benefactors of Aid to the Church in Need responded to the pandemic by donating more in 2020 than the previous year, as the organisation rushed out emergency COVID-19 projects amid growing persecution.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) thanked supporters, who helped priests, Sisters and lay workers tackling the coronavirus crisis, as the charity released its annual accounts today (Friday 18th June) – highlighting a global increase of €16.4 (£14) million in support in 2020.
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.”

“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 €122 (£104) million in 2020.

Neville Kyrke-Smith, national director of Aid to the Church in Need’s UK office – which raised £11.3 million (including accrued legacies) 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", he said.

In 2020 Mass stipends rose from 15.9 to 22.8 percent of the charity’s total aid.

Mr Kyrke-Smith added: “ACN also focused on supporting Sisters who have been carrying out vital pastoral work in very difficult circumstances, bringing the compassion of Christ to those suffering because of the pandemic.

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.

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.
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Martyrs’ Walk - Sunday 27th June 2021 
We invite you to join this year’s Martyrs’ Walk. We’ll pray for religious freedom in our world today and especially for our martyrs—past and present—as we visit the church yard of St Giles-in the-Field, remembering the sacrifices that so many Catholics have suffered down the centuries and looking to a future without religious persecution. Read more here.
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