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NIGERIA: Nigerian bishop fears "An Ethnic Cleansing of Christians" by Fulani Herdsmen

“PLEASE DON’T make the same mistake as was made with the genocide in Rwanda. It happened under our noses, but no one stopped it. And we know well how that ended.”

These are the words of Bishop William Amove Avenya of the Diocese of Gboko, in Benue State, Nigeria, where Christians form the majority of the population.

Bishop William Amove Avenya from Gboko Diocese in Nigeria during his visit at the Italian National Office of ACN in Rome

Bishop William Amove Avenya from Gboko Diocese in Nigeria during his visit at the Italian National Office of ACN in Rome © Aid to the Church in Need

He is only the latest of the bishops of Nigeria’s Middle Belt to have raised his voice to denounce what is an increasingly worrying phenomenon—the attacks by Islamist Fulani herdsmen on Christians in the region. In recent days there have been new attacks in the area of Jos, the capital of Plateau State, killing more than 100 people.

INDIA: Attacks and Harassment Against Christians at Historically High Levels

20100210 023An update from Christians and religious minorities 10 years after the Khandamal Riots.

The Pastoral Centre of Konjamendi (Khandamal) was destroyed during the riots:
Pictured above is the Pastoral Centre's Director - Father Desmond. Diocese Cuttack (Orissa), November 2008 
© Aid to the Church in Need

2008 was a year Catholics in the Indian state of Odisha suffered a terrible suppression at the hands of Hindu fundamentalists intent on extinguishing the presence of Christianity.

Murders, the burning of buildings and homes, the public rape of Christian women; these  atrocities were committed in the state’s Khandamal district to force the faithful of the local Church to convert or leave.

NICARAGUA: “The Town of Masaya is Under a Hail of Bullets


“Please put pressure on the government, urging it to show respect for the bishops, the priests and the population.” This was the appeal issued via ACN by Cardinal Leopoldo José José Brenes Solorzano, the Archbishop of Managua, Nicaragua.

The Cardinal also spoke about the difficult situation in Masaya, a town some 30 km south of the capital Managua, which has become a symbol of the opposition to the government of President Daniel Ortega and which since 6am local time Tuesday has been besieged “by over 1000 soldiers and police. So far no deaths have been recorded, but undoubtedly there will be numerous injured victims. The town has been submerged under a wave of bullets”, the Cardinal stated.

Red Wednesday 28 Nov, 2018

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Red Wednesday is an initiative of Aid to the Church in Need set down this year for 28 November.

It is a day to gather and pray in solidarity with those who are persecuted and suffer unjustly for their peacefully held beliefs.

Persecution in the world’s worst-affected regions has reached a new peak, the impact of which is now being felt in all its horror.

In Syria and Iraq the crisis is immense and the evidence shows that Christians have fallen victim to a genocide conducted by Daesh (ISIS). In Syria 13.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. 5.5 million have fled the country, half of them are Christians.

Iraq and Syria are countries of serious concern but there are also abuses of religious liberty taking place in 23 other countries/regions including (but not limited to) India, Pakistan, China, Africa and South America.

The purpose of Red Wednesday is for us to join with people of all faiths to raise a strong voice in support of the persecuted who cannot profess their religion freely:

Christians in Egypt and Iraq
the Baha’i community in Iran
Catholics in the southern Philippines
the Rohingya in Myanmar
Jewish communities in Europe
people of all faiths in China.

Red Wednesday coincides with the release of the 2018 Religious Freedom in the World Report. A document produced every two years by Aid to the Church in Need the Report assesses issues relating to religious freedom for all faith groups in 196 countries. It can be viewed from 23 November at: 

As well as the release of the Religious Freedom Report 2018 we will gather and pray in solidarity with those of all faiths who are persecuted and suffer unjustly for their peacefully held beliefs.

Let’s spread the word and use social media to make #RedWednesday 2018 a campaign that cannot be ignored.

International Annual Report 2017

Over the past year, the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need maintained a high level of donations which has been documented in the organisation’s 2017 Annual Report released following attestation by the auditing firm KPMG.

The report shows that the total sum of donations, legacies and other income was over AUD$182 million ($182,736,571 to be exact). The largest part of the donated funds (82.5%) was used to finance mission related expenses. The main share served to fund 5,357 projects in 149 countries. Of the mission-related expenses, 16% served to raise awareness for the cause of the suffering church, media work and advocacy work with political institutions.

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