Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Malta is marking its 7th anniversary as one of the leading Catholic charities in Malta and the only international Catholic organisation dedicated to helping persecuted and oppressed Christians around the world. ACN Malta particularly helps Maltese and Gozitan missionaries, priests, religious and lay persons in various much needed projects they are conducting in far-away countries.
Founded on 13th May 2014 as the Maltese national office of the 75 year old international pontifical foundation – Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, ACN Malta has continued to bring solace to the suffering faithful especially at a time when their humanitarian and pastoral needs are at an all-time high, due to a global increase in persecution and suffering, further exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the past seven years, ACN Malta has joined efforts with the 22 other national offices of the international foundation to fund over 5,000 projects in more than 140 countries yearly, providing emergency aid for affected Christians and refugees, supporting the building and reconstruction of homes, destroyed Churches and religious centres, supporting the training of priests and religious, providing transport for pastoral work particularly in remote areas, publishing and distributing copies of faith materials such as the ACN Child’s Bible, YOUCAT, DOCAT among others.
Notable projects, some of which are still ongoing include the ‘Drop of Milk project’ which provides milk for malnourished children in Syria under the age of 10, ‘St John the Merciful Table’ which provides a daily hot meal for over 1,000 Christian refugees in Lebanon, training of seminarians in Dunka in India and Portoviejo in Ecuador, and continued emergency aid for affected families of the August 2020 Beirut explosion in Lebanon.
More of such projects include legal assistance for Christians on death row in Pakistan such as Asia Bibi before her acquittal, rebuilding houses of the Christian refugees severely damaged by fundamentalists in Syria and Iraq, providing emergency aid and trauma healing programmes for affected families of the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, and providing food and medicines for Christian families denied vital aid in Pakistan at the peak of the corona virus pandemic.
In addition to projects, ACN Malta is a voice for persecuted Christians, telling their stories through its publications which include a weekly e-newsletter, weekly radio programmes on Radju Marija, weekly page in the Catholic newspaper “Il-Leħen”, talks and video presentations to parishes, school and groups, bi-monthly e-magazine, Faith Alive, ACN’s two major biennial reports –“Persecuted and Forgotten” and “Religious Freedom in the World” (the latter 2021 has just been released in Malta), periodic TV interviews, articles published on Malta’s newspapers, the foundation’s website and social media platforms.
ACN Malta also leads prayer campaigns, organizes retreats and Masses such as ‘One Million Children praying the Rosary’ Campaign which holds every October, Lent and Advent retreats and a yearly Mass for deceased benefactors.
On this important anniversary occasion, ACN Malta renews its commitment to caring for persecuted and suffering Christians and invites persons of goodwill in Malta and Gozo to join hands on this life-saving mission. The times are crucial and the needs are great. The time to act is now.
To know more about ACN Malta, how to become a volunteer, promoter or benefactor, kindly send an email to [email protected] or call 2148 7818.