The Persecuted Church
“Let us share both in the sorrow and the gladness of the persecuted Church so that pain may be divided and joy doubled and this darkness would become a little easier to live in.” — Father Werenfried van Straaten (1913-2003) Founder, Aid to the Church in Need
Would you risk everything to profess your Faith? Would you risk your family, home, and job to proclaim the Faith? We hope you are never put to this test. Unfortunately, these are questions confronting our brothers and sisters around the world each day.
Today, persecution of Christians is as brutal and vicious as that experienced by Christians in the early Church. Many of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East and other regions are coming face to face with evil. How would you feel if St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City was captured and desecrated by jihadists? Or if the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome was seized and turned into a mosque? This is what has happened to many churches in Iraq and Syria.
Some of the wounds of persecution are visible – machete scars to a young Christian’s neck in Sudan or the burn marks to a young girl’s face in Orissa, India (right). Some attacks result in modern-day martyrs, like Father Daniel in eastern Congo, shot in the head and killed inside his rectory. And Jesuit priest Frans van der Lugt, shot twice and murdered in Syria, while protecting Christians trapped in an old monastery.
Our Faith is targeted in many ways around the world:
• In India, dozens of villages were attacked and several churches set on fire by Hindu fanatics. In China, priests are regularly placed under surveillance and house arrest, even abducted, never to be seen again. In Nigeria, young Christian girls (under the age of 18) are kidnapped, abused and forced to convert to Islam.
Christian practice and symbols are threatened in places like Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria. Persecution around the world has manifested itself through the centuries, but it is worse today than ever before. Aid to the Church in Need and its donors have been there to help since 1947, never abandoning the Church or her most vulnerable children. With our donors, we stand on the front lines supporting the courageous priests, nuns, and lay people as they endure public humiliation, daily harassment, violence, torture, forced labor and brutal assassinations.
Can we count on you? Will you stand united in Faith?
Pray and keep Faith with those who suffer for Christ. Heal the wounds of persecution. Be a Voice and take a stand in defense of persecuted Christians. You can share these words with friends and family. You can ask your elected officials to protect religious freedom. And you can support Aid to the Church in Need.
With your generosity we can meet the spiritual and material needs of the persecuted Church; provide pastoral care for souls and assist refugees, the poor and the marginalized; sustain our courageous missionary priests and nuns as they risk their lives for Christ; rebuild and repair damaged and desecrated churches; and support vocations so that there will always be someone in God’s house to serve.
Under the guidance of the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need provides pastoral and humanitarian assistance to the persecuted Church around the world. For more than 67 years, our donors have reached out to the suffering, the distressed and the poorest of the poor. Through Aid to the Church in Need, you can make a difference! You can support our suffering brothers and sisters.
Will you stand up for your Faith? And accompany our brothers and sisters on their spiritual journey? Thank you and God bless you.
“How many of you pray for Christians who are persecuted? Ask yourselves, do I pray for that brother or sister who’s in
difficulty for confessing their faith?” Pope Francis