“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Expand an Orthodox Center for Victims of Domestic Violence in Russia
For almost 30 years now, in accordance with the heartfelt wish of Pope Saint John Paul II, ACN has been helping to promote fraternal dialogue and friendship between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church. The historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in February 2016 in Havana, Cuba, further opened the door to new paths of dialogue and cooperation between the two communions.
Sponsored by ACN, an ecumenical working party was established, tasked with the concrete implementation of the shared concerns of the two Church leaders. One of these areas in which the two Sister Churches were able to intensify their collaboration was the joint support for families, pregnant women in conflict situations and victims of domestic violence. Thus, for example, in the eparchy of Nizhnij Novgorod, ACN helped fund the establishment of a refuge for young mothers in need.
Similarly, in Velikij Rostov, with our support, the Orthodox Church is helping women in need – especially victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, as well as migrant women. Between 300 and 500 women a year have been counseled and helped by a six-person team of trained female counselors. At the same time, up to three or four women can be housed, together with their children, in temporary accommodation, although the need is much greater than this.
Now the plan is to extend the available accommodation so that up to 16 people can be given refuge for a limited period of time. At the same time, the women are registered with the authorities so that they can also look for work. As soon as they have managed to get their lives back in order and stand on their own two feet, they leave the center and make room for other women in need. Equally important is the pastoral accompaniment offered, which is available to all the women, regardless of their religious faith or denomination.
This is a crucially important project, and we would like to support it with $57,800.
Will you give to help support and expand this Orthodox center for victims of domestic violence in Russia?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.