Emergency assistance in cases of war, displacement, violence and natural catastrophes
Emergency relief for refugees is deeply rooted in the history of our charity. Already in the 1950s, the founder of Aid to the Church in Need, Father Werenfried van Straaten, conducted pioneering work in helping displaced persons.
The bitter truth is that around the world, there are now more refugees than ever. Currently, about 16 million people worldwide are on the run, alone 15.4 million people in the Middle East. In Iraq and Syria, about 1 million Christians are affected. Of the estimated 1.3 million Christians in Iraq before 2003, it is thought that only 250,000 remain there today.
In this way our emergency assistance is not only a vital response to an urgent need in war torn regions, but also a symbol of Christian solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters.
We donated €15.2 million to humanitarian aid in 2016.
CONSTRUCTION & RECONSTRUCTION OF CHURCHES
Particularly in areas of crisis, churches and religious facilities are often destroyed through violence. We support the reconstruction in those regions because churches are the heart of Christian life and a sign of hope.
Where the Church is growing, such as in Africa, Asia and Latin America, help is often needed to build new infrastructures. Therefore, Aid to the Church in Need helps to construct or reconstruct churches, monasteries, pastoral centres and missions to secure and promote the pastoral ministry of the Catholic Church around the world. We know from over 60 years’ experience that in slums, even the smallest chapel can give the people a spiritual home.
We carry out more than 1,200 construction projects every year.
There is a lack of priests in many of the world’s poorest countries. Here the religious training of the laity for catechetical service is an essential element in keeping faith alive.
These projects aim to enable men and women through basic theological training to pass their beliefs on to others and prepare them for the reception of the Sacraments.
We train more than 30,000 catechists and pastoral leaders every year.
Training of priests and religious
The theological training and qualification of seminarians has always been one of our major concerns. After all, these future priests will provide spiritual guidance and assure a sacramental life. Therefore, many donations flow into countries where the otherwise adequate and continuous training of seminarians would not be sufficiently ensured due to poverty, war or persecution.
We support one out of every ten seminarians in the world.
In many regions, the faithful are now so poor that they cannot support their priests. Mass stipends are often the only means of existential help in these regions. Mass stipends are donations accompanied by the request to celebrate Holy Mass for the sick and deceased, or other intentions. There are currently over 415,000 priests worldwide.
Thanks to 1.4 million mass stipends, we can support priests in their pastoral mission.
DISTRIBUTION OF BIBLES & RELIGIOUS BOOKS
“Go out into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone,” Jesus commanded. Aid to the Church in Need takes this mandate literally. Since 1979, for example, our organisation has been the publisher and global supplier of children’s Bibles, which have been translated into 180 languages and already dis- tributed more than 52 million times. In poor countries, the Child’s Bible is often the first book that little ones have access to in their own language and frequently the only picture book they receive in their lifetime.
We have distributed more than 6 million books in the last three years.