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The charity raises £121 million to help Christians in need

The charity raises £121 million to help Christians in need

The charity raises £121 million to help Christians in need

Regina Lynch at the opening of the new ACN national office in Slovakia in 2017.
Regina Lynch at the opening of the new ACN national office in Slovakia in 2017.

Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) completed 5,573 projects in 138 countries last year, according to recently published figures.

The international organization committed to supporting persecuted Christians and others in distress has received donations and legacies from nearly 360,000 benefactors in 23 countries.

In total, worldwide, the charity has raised £121.5m (€143.7m) without receiving support from governments.

“The numbers reflect a true miracle,” according to Regina Lynch, ACN Executive President (International).

Mrs Lynch said: “From a purely human perspective one cannot undertake to help without first having funds secured, but as we believe in divine providence we have been doing so since 1947.

“Therefore, this annual activity report is, above all, an opportunity to give thanks to God.”

Dr Caroline Hull, ACN National Director (UK), said: “Our loyal UK benefactors have contributed substantially to these fantastic results by funding 250 projects in 68 countries.”

Dr Hull added: “Our support here at home grows year on year and being part of an international Catholic effort to support the suffering and persecuted Church is truly valued by our benefactors, volunteers, administrators and team ACN.

“It is a privilege to work with the global ACN community to create positive change for our brothers and sisters who are suffering for their Christian faith.”

Ukraine, Syria and Lebanon were the recipients of the most assistance from the ACN, while Africa as a continent received the most support in 2023.

Ms Lynch said: “Africa is home to around one in five Catholics…

“The spread of terrorism and Islamic extremism in some countries, especially in the Sahel region, are a cause of great suffering and pain for Christians on this continent.”

The charity provided nearly 1.75 million Mass scholarships to 40,767 priests and supported the formation of up to 11,000 seminarians last year.

More than a quarter of the funds were spent on construction projects, such as building and renovating churches, monasteries, seminaries and pastoral centers.

Emergency aid accounted for 11% of the funds distributed by the charity, including in the Holy Land, and about 10% was used to provide transport for Church staff.

Ms Lynch concluded: “We also want to step up our aid in the Sahel region, where jihadist terrorism is spreading and where Christians are facing increasing suffering from violence.”