Aid to the Church in Need is to receive an award from the Vatican’s permanent observer to the UN for the charity’s vital work supporting persecuted Christians.
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, announced that ACN is the recipient of the 2019 Path to Peace Award.
The Path to Peace Foundation stated that it had chosen the Catholic charity for the award in recognition of its emergency and pastoral aid for Christians suffering oppression and discrimination.
“ACN benefactors have sustained the Easter hope of the Resurrection during the long Good Friday of appalling suffering” – Neville Kyrke-Smith
Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director, Aid to the Church in Need (UK), said: “Such a recognition is both a compliment and a challenge to Aid to the Church in Need.
“The compliment is to the individual faithful benefactors of ACN who have sustained the Easter hope of the Resurrection during the long Good Friday of appalling suffering, in particular in the Middle East.
“The challenge is now for ACN and other charities to empower the local Christian communities to renew their presence and bring a true pathway to peace.”
Archbishop Auza is president of the Path to Peace to Foundation which, as well as supporting the Vatican’s diplomatic work at the UN, funds humanitarian projects in developing countries.
Dr Thomas Heine-Geldern, Executive President of ACN (International), will be presented with the award in New York on Wednesday, 22nd May.
Previous recipients of the Path to Peace Award include former Secretary Generals of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan, former President of Poland Lech Walesa and other heads of state.
Last year, ACN supported more than 5,000 projects in 139 countries worldwide, building more than 2,470 churches, chapels, convents and halls, helping 10,000 priests, more than 11,000 religious Sisters and 14,000 Christian education teachers (catechists).
In the Middle East, a priority region for ACN projects, ACN has helped Christians and others who have suffered a genocide – providing food, shelter, medicine, schooling, as well as pastoral support.