ACN 20180813 74962

It is the tenth anniversary of a horrific outburst of anti-Christian violence that, in August 2008, killed more than 100 Christians in the Kandhamal district of India’s Odisha State; the violence damaged or destroyed 300 churches and 6,000 homes, with 50,000 people ending up displaced. A nun was gang raped.

Tarun Kumar Nayak, 19, is a native of Odisha state, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science. He was both witness and victim of Hindu mob violence at age of nine. Here, Tarun describes the destruction of both his home in the town of Bamunigoan and his father’s tailoring shop—an incident that turned out to be a prelude to the murderous rampage in August 2008:

TS Eliot's play MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL directed by acclaimed actor Donald Macdonald and presented by Artes Christi, will be raising funds for Aid to the Church in Need Australia.
The play will run from the 27th of September to the 14th of October 2018.

MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL is a beautiful poetic play written by TS Eliot portraying the life & death of St Thomas Becket who was martyred in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170.

Performances of the play will run at the historic 1880 Hall in Surry Hills and the play is being staged to coincide with the Canonisation of Blessed Oscar Romero on 14th October this year.
In 1980 in San Salvador, Blessed Oscar became the first Archbishop martyred at the altar since St Thomas Becket 800 years earlier.

Murder in the Cathedral

In this video ACN Australia's National Director, Mr Bernard Toutounji, shares a reflection on the unique mission of the Pontifical Catholic Charity, Aid to the Church in Need, and appeals for people to come forward in support of the more than 200 million Christians who suffer for their faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Aid to the Church in Need helps Christians rebuild their houses after they were destroyed by IS

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Above: Engineer Sabah Zakari at the office of the Nineveh Reconstruction Committee in Qaraqosh. He supervises the technical side of the reconstruction.

Slowly, house by house, the destruction that IS left behind after capturing Christian cities and villages in August of 2014 is becoming a memory. And at the very heart, directing the efforts to rebuild the Christian cities and villages on the Nineveh plains, is the Nineveh Reconstruction Center. Every day, those involved use plaster and bricks to celebrate small victories over the terror spread by IS. “When I first came back in March of 2017 after Qaraqosh was liberated, everything was either destroyed or damaged. That was very, very sad to see. But even then it was clear to me that the damage could be repaired,” Sabah Zakaria says. The 60-year-old engineer oversees the technical side of the reconstruction efforts. He is tackling this staggering task with a team of 70 engineers. The goal is nothing less than to restore the basis of life for Christians in Iraq. “Houses are not everything, but without houses to live in, everything is nothing,” Zakaria points out, without, however, minimizing the importance of such concerns as the lack of safety or jobs.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is doing a great deal to support the engineers’ reconstruction work. Zakaria’s own house was restored with the help of ACN. The engineer is convinced that the efforts put into reconstruction have not been in vain. “It is a huge joy to see our beautiful city come to life again,” he says. 

The Ivory Coast, officially Republic of Côte d´Ivoire, is a country in transition: after years of civil war, the people that make up this heterogenous society are trying to lead lives of unity and reconciliation. This is true in both politics and religion. The first successes have been achieved: in contrast to other African countries, Christians and Muslims are managing to coexist largely without tension. The political situation is not as volatile and a growth in investments has ensured that the economy is slowly gathering momentum.

Bishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo bishop of Katiola Cote dIvoire during a visit at ACN Germany in Munich in July 2018

In an interview with ACN Germany, Bishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo talks to Tobias Lehner about interfaith reconciliation, places of worship  that build cultural identity and what he thinks is the best refugee policy. Bishop Dogbo oversees the diocese of Katiola in the northern part of the Ivory Coast and is president of the Episcopal Conference of Côte d’Ivoire.

Bishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo, bishop of Katiola (Cote d'Ivoire) during a visit at ACN Germany in Munich in July 2018. 

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