German: Kirche in Not
Aid to the Church in Need logo (2018).
|Founder||Werenfried van Straaten|
|Founded at||West Germany|
|Type||pastoral aid organization|
|Cardinal Mauro Piacenza|
Aid to the Church in Need (German : Kirche in Not, Italian : Aiuto alla Chiesa che Soffre) is an international Catholic pastoral aid organization, which yearly offers financial support to more than 5,000 projects worldwide.
Aid to the Church in Need's General Secretariat and Project Headquarters is in Königstein, Germany. With 23 national offices, Aid to the Church in Need provides aid to Catholic communities in more than 140 countries around the world.[ citation needed ]
The roots of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) go back to the time after World War II. For the Dutch priest Werenfried van Straatenthe Stunde Null was the starting point of his life's work. In 1947 he founded Aid to the Eastern Priests, which shortly after became the aid organisation, Aid to the Church in Need. His relief organisation provided food and clothes for East German refugees. The initial goal was to aid refugees who fled or were expelled from Eastern Europe in the wake of the Second World War, many of them Catholic.
During his pontificate, in December 2011, Pope Benedict XVI recognised the importance of Aid to the Church in Need's work by elevating the charity to a Pontifical Foundation of the Catholic Church. At the same time, the Pope appointed the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, to the position of President of the Foundation.
In 2021 Die Zeit published an article which made known the existence of a letter from 2010 indicating that Werenfried van Straaten was accused of committing sexual assault in 1973 against a 20-year-old woman working for the charity.In a statement consisting of questions and answers, the charity responded to the disclosure and noted that "ACN deeply regrets the serious allegations and condemns any kind of behavior of which Father van Straaten has been accused in the article."
The persecution of Christians can be historically traced from the first century of the Christian era to the present day. Christian missionaries and converts to Christianity have both been targeted for persecution, sometimes to the point of being martyred for their faith, ever since the emergence of Christianity. Since the emergence of Christian states in Late Antiquity, Christians have also been persecuted by other Christians due to differences in doctrine which have been declared heretical.
Religious intolerance is intolerance of another's religious beliefs or practices or lack thereof.
Persecution of Christians in the post–Cold War era refers to the persecution of Christians from 1989 to the present. Part of a global problem of religious persecution, persecution of Christians in this era is taking place in Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia and Middle East.
Werenfried van Straaten, born Philippus Johannes Hendricus van Straaten O. Praem., was a Dutch Catholic priest and social activist. He was a Premonstratensian priest expatriate in Germany, who became known for his charitable work across the world. He was the founder of the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.
Christianity is the third largest religion in Pakistan. According to the 2017 Census, the proportion of Christians in Pakistan was estimated as about 1.27% of the population. Of these, approximately half are Catholic and half Protestant. A small number of Eastern Orthodox Christians and Oriental Orthodox Christians also live in Pakistan.
The situation of Human Rights in Pakistan is complex as a result of the country's diversity, large population, its status as a developing country and a sovereign Islamic democracy with a mixture of both Islamic and secular law. The Constitution of Pakistan provides for fundamental rights. The Clauses also provide for an independent Supreme Court, separation of executive and judiciary, an independent judiciary, independent Human Rights commission and freedom of movement within the country and abroad. However these clauses are not respected in practice.
The Pakistan Penal Code, the main criminal code of Pakistan, punishes blasphemy against any recognized religion, providing penalties ranging from a fine to death. According to Tahir Nasir and Malik Asad's Jan, 2021 news report, as per the US Commission on International Religious Freedom around 80 people are known to be incarcerated in Pakistan on blasphemy charges — half of those face life in prison or the death penalty. From 1967 to 2014, over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy, with Muslims constituting most of those accused. According to human rights groups blasphemy laws in Pakistan are many times exploited even against Muslims to settle personal rivalries and also to persecute minorities. Many of those accused, their lawyers and any persons speaking against blasphemy laws and proceedings can end up in lynchings or street vigilantism in Pakistan.
The French Internet site "Aide à l'Eglise en détresse" puts the figure of Christians in Bhutan at 12,255, with 1,000 Roman Catholics, making it a total of 0.9% of the population. The population also consists of 84% Buddhists, 11.4% Hindus, 3.4% Animists and 0.3% uncategorized.
The Church policies after World War II of Pope Pius XII focused on material aid to war-torn Europe, the internationalization of the Roman Catholic Church, its persecution in Eastern Europe, China and Vietnam, and relations with the United States and the emerging European Union.
In North Korea, the Constitution guarantees "freedom of religious beliefs". However, in reality there is no freedom of religion in the country. According to one report at least 200,000 Christians have gone missing since 1953. Christians in North Korea are said to be the most persecuted in the world.
Pope Pius XII and the Church in China involves relations of the Holy See with China from 1939-1958. The Vatican recognized Chinese rites in 1939, elevated the first Chinese cardinal in 1946, and established a Chinese hierarchy.
Catholic Church–Soviet Union relations were marked by long-standing ideological disagreements between the Catholic Church and the Soviet Union. The Holy See attempted to enter in a pragmatic dialogue with Soviet leaders during the papacies of John XXIII and Paul VI. In the 1990s, Pope John Paul II's diplomatic policies were cited as one of the principal factors that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Catholic (National) Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) was formed in 1985 by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Pakistan. It provides services in the field of human rights advocacy.
In 2010, a Pakistani Christian woman, Aasiya Noreen, commonly known as Asia Bibi, was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court and was sentenced to death by hanging. In October 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted her based on insufficient evidence, though she was not allowed to leave Pakistan until the verdict was reviewed. She was held under armed guard and was not able to leave the country until 7 May 2019; she arrived in Canada the next day.
International Christian Concern (ICC) is an ecumenical, non-governmental, non-partisan Christian organization, located in Washington, DC, whose concern is the human rights of Christians and religious minorities. Its mission is to help religious minorities from all forms of persecution through assistance, advocacy, and awareness.
Romana Bashir is a Pakistani community activist for women and minority rights and religious tolerance. Bashir is a past executive director of the Peace and Development Foundation in Rawalpindi and was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a consultor for the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims.
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is an observance within the Christian kalendar in which congregations pray for Christians who are persecuted for their faith. It falls on the first Sunday of November, within the liturgical period of Allhallowtide, which is dedicated to remembering the martyrs and saints of Christianity. The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is observed by many Christian denominations, with over 100,000 congregations honoring the holiday worldwide. Congregations focus on "praying for individuals, families, churches, or countries where Christians are facing hard situations." Additionally, many congregations donate funds from their collection of tithes and offerings on the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church to NGOs that support human rights of persecuted Christians, such as Voice of the Martyrs, International Christian Concern, and Open Doors.
Persecution Relief is an Indian Nonprofit organization founded in 2016 by Shibu Thomas. It is an inter-denominational organization dedicated to helping the Church in India.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted liturgical celebrations of the Catholic Church worldwide. The Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) stated that the pandemic has not become "just a medical, social and economic problem, but also a pastoral problem", which leaded ACN to start encouraging a special program for the actions of priests and religious against the virus spread.