A Library for Young People in Egypt

Sheraton-Heliopolis is the name of a newer suburb of Cairo, one that did not even exist a few decades ago. Named after the original Sheraton hotel, close to the international airport, which was at first the only existing building there at the time, it is now a busy home to over 400,000 people.

The Catholic Church has established a pastoral center here, named the Diakonia Development Center, to serve the various pastoral and social needs of the Catholic parish community. It is here that the children and young people of the Good Samaritan group also meet.

The plan is to establish a small library in the center for the 150 or so children and young people who regularly come here, above all in order to help them become more familiar with the Holy Scriptures. It is especially important for them, as a religious minority, to have a sound knowledge of the Bible, since they are often asked questions and need to be able to give clear and coherent answers to them.

Sometimes the questions are put to them in a deliberately provocative or manipulative way, making it very important for these Christian children to deepen and extend their knowledge of the Scriptures from an early age and especially to have a good understanding of those passages in the Bible that are often used or abused by non-Christians to attack their faith.

At the same time it is very important for these young people and for their own personal development to be able to understand how God leads them and guides them by His providence. In this way they come to know Jesus Christ better and believe more deeply in His love. For as Saint Jerome wrote, Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”

This Christmas, please help us furnish this library so that young Christians in Egypt can grow in their faith and understanding?

30,000 Copies of the New Testament for the Central African Republic

The Central African Republic has been a country in crisis since it gained independence in 1960, with one coup following the next. The population has been terrorized by an unending stream of armed groups that may go by different names, but always commit the same crimes. They loot houses, burn down villages, abduct innocent people, rape women and girls, and kill. In 2013, a bloody civil war broke out and large parts of the country are still under rebel control today. The government has done nothing to intervene, abandoning the people to their fate.

The only help the general populace receives comes from the Church. The Church takes care of orphans, the poor and the sick, runs schools and hospitals, and, in its convents, monasteries and missions, gives shelter to refugees whose houses were burned down by rebels. Again and again, priests and religious risk their lives to protect defenseless women and children from armed assailants. Priests have been taken hostage, several have been killed, and many have been threatened at gunpoint.

Putting the country back together is not only a matter of rebuilding houses and the institutions that have been destroyed. First and foremost, the hearts and conscience of the people have to be strengthened and renewed. The country only has hope for a future if hatred can be overcome and a new leaf can be turned over through reconciliation and forgiveness. Believers must also gain a deeper understanding of the Good News of Christ. After all, two thirds of the population may be Christian, but the belief in witchcraft is still deeply rooted in many places and superstition is widespread.

The Archbishop of Bangui, Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, believes that it is essential for the people to be able to read the Holy Scriptures themselves and to be able to immerse themselves in their message. However, translated copies of the Bible in the national language have sold out and need to be reprinted. The cardinal considers this to be one of the most pressing projects of all.

As a Gift of Faith this Christmas please help with the printing of the New Testament in the Central African Republic Help bring peace and reconciliation to this troubled country.

Providing Good News to the Children of South Sudan and beyond

ACN’s  Child’s Bible has been translated into over 180 languages and is a vital resource to teach the Faith to young and old alike. In some poorer parts of the world, the Child’s Bible is often the first book the children have access to in their own language and often it is the only picture book they will receive in their lifetime.

In South Sudan, hundreds of children who have been traumatised by civil war and violence are learning about Faith, Hope and the Love of God through ACN’s Child’s Bible.

Help pass on the Faith to future generations in South Sudan and all over the world by supporting ACN Child’s Bible Program.