» The voice of the Church should not be absent in the dialogue promoting peace and justice «
The problems facing the Catholic Church in Asia and Oceania are distinct and highly varied. In most Asian countries, Christians form a minority that is often socially marginalized and discriminated against. In South and South East Asia, Christians suffer from the actions of radical Islamist groups.
» In 2017, the Indian Church suffered 736 anti-Christian attacks. «
Natural disasters compound the problem. These often cause severe destruction in Asia and Oceania, along with widespread poverty. ACN supports the Catholic Church in building and maintaining its infrastructure, in the formation of priests and the laity, and in initiatives that foster interreligious dialogue.
Even where national constitutions guarantee religious freedom, it is often severely restricted in countries such as India or Pakistan. Compared to last year, we have observed a significant increase in attacks and violence against Christian communities. Unfortunately, without outside help, many local churches are not able to fulfill their pastoral mission to an adequate degree. In many areas, the Church also had to contend with natural disasters, such as in Bangladesh, where flooding during the monsoon season also caused damage to the Church’s infrastructure. In countries such as Vietnam, the Church is also greatly concerned by the increase in social uprooting, migrant labour and a materialistic world-view. Above all, ACN provides assistance for projects that involve religious education and support for families.