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Persecuted Christians Tell their Story

The Consequences of Becoming a Christian in India: 

In India the Dalits are discriminated against and treated as second class citizens by the majority Hindu population. Dalit means "broken people."  The Dalits were formerly known as "untouchables." The Dalits live at the bottom of India's rigid social order known as the caste system. Many Dalits who convert to Christianity are then further discriminated and oppressed by the Government.


Another Incident of Violence Against a Christian Woman in Pakistan


Binish Paul is 18 years old and a Christian. She attends public school in Pakistan. On 22 August, a young Muslim by the name of Taheer Abbas threw her from the second storey roof because she had refused to marry him and convert to Islam. This is another example of violence being used to force conversion, explained Binish Paul’s solicitor Tabassum Yousaf in an interview with the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

ACN 20170705 57513

National Marian Shrine in Mariamabad, one of Pakistan's oldest Catholic settlements.
Located about 80 km from Punjab's capital of Lahore.
Photographer: Johannes Klausa
Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.

Mexico – one year after the earthquake

The month of September 2017 will not be easy to forget for the Mexican people. Two earthquakes which struck just 12 days apart, on 7 and 19 September, left thousands of families torn apart, 471 people dead and over 12 million otherwise affected. Most victims were in the city of Mexico itself, but there were also many in other states, such as Cuernavaca, Oaxaca and Puebla. We still retain vivid memories of buildings collapsing like a house of cards, of roads and bridges destroyed – and at the same time we recall the solidarity shown by this country in drawing on all it's resources and tirelessly searching for survivors amid the ruins.

ACN 20180621 72789

Repair of the mother house, the juniorado and the chapel
after the earthquake of September 2017.
Copyright Aid to the Church in Need.

Northeastern Syria: Kurds Close Several Christian Schools

Archbishop Hindo to ACN: “The plan to oust Christians from the region is being executed.”

“For years I have been saying that the Kurds are trying to eliminate the Christian presence in this part of Syria,” the Syriac Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnam Hindo of Al Hasakah-Nisibi, which is located in the northeastern part of Syria, explained. In an interview with the pontifical foundation, he confirmed the closure of several Christian schools through the Democratic Federation of North Syria, a de facto autonomous region located in northern and northeastern Syria.

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Syriac Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnam Hindo celebrating Mass.
ACN has been supporting Syrian Christians during this time of persecution in their country.

Venezuela – the Totalitarian Project Continues

Bishops and experts comment on the nature and implications of the recent currency devaluation

ACN 20180511 71106

Just days after the introduction of the new economic measures by the government of Nicolás Maduro on 17 August this year, there is a sense of complete confusion and helplessness in Venezuelan society, both among the larger economic concerns and among the ordinary small traders.

The effects of the new measures are by no means clear, nor indeed is their practical implementation. The government has stated that it will cover the extra financial charges on the private sector for the first 90 days, but it doesn’t say how it will do so. It has also promised that it will not apply the new rate of VAT – which has increased from 12% to 16% – to foods and medicines. However the Official Gazette which has been published states that the tax will be a general one and makes no mention of any such exemptions.

What seems certain is that the new measures will lead to a savage increase in inflation, and in consequence to still more poverty and hunger for the ordinary people. The 60-fold increase in the national minimum wage, which has also been announced, is so enormous that it is feared that many companies and small businesses, which are already struggling to survive, will be forced either to close or to sack a large part of their workforce.

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