By John Pontifex 

HRH The Prince of Wales offered a heart-felt message of compassion for Christians persecuted because of their faith at an event where he met families who have escaped terror and upheaval. 

The Prince was guest-of-honour at St Barnabas Church, in London’s Pimlico district, at a service organised by the local Eastern-rite Melkite Greek Catholic community in cooperation with the parish Church. Before the service, HRH met Church leaders and individuals with first-hand experience of persecution, a number of them supported by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, which arranged for them to take part in the event. 

Baron Heereman speaking at a recent ACN conference in Europe © Aid to the Church in Need

In several countries, people look forward to Christmas Eve with trepidation 

By Karla Sponar 

In several countries, people look forward to Christmas Eve with trepidation 

Attacks against Christians have mounted over the last week in Nigeria, India and on the 3rd Sunday in Advent, in southwest Pakistan. In Pakistan, two suicide bombers of the terrorist militia IS attacked around 400 Christians in Bethel Memorial Church in the city of Quetta – at least eight people died, more than a dozen were injured, including several children. 

Bishop Victor Gnanapragasam of Quetta © Aid to the Church in Need

Bishop hails rapid response of police and army 
Victims’ families ‘frightened and crying’ 

By John Pontifex 

A PAKISTAN bishop in Quetta has praised the country’s “truly heroic” security services saying that had they not been so quick and decisive the death toll in Sunday’s attack at a packed Methodist church could have run into hundreds. 

Parts of Marawi City after being torching by Maute group. Damage was also caused and aerial bombardment by the Philippine Military © Ms Sittie Ainah U Balt/Aid to the Church in Need

Bishop sets out his priorities in wake of five-month war against extremists 

By John Pontifex and Josemaria E. Claro 

A BISHOP in the Philippines, whose cathedral and home were destroyed by extremists, has stated that his top priority is to rebuild inter-faith relations and bring healing to his traumatised people. 

The Kanga couple from Cameroon © Aid to the Church in Need

By Mónica Zorita 

Giving people the ability to communicate values for strengthening the family in today’s society through education – that is the main mission of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute. The institute, which is headquartered in Rome, has branch campuses on every continent. The Benin campus is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Representatives of the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) paid the campus a visit. The foundation offers more than 120 scholarships as part of its support of the African institute of theological studies. 

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