LONDON: Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the leading Catholic charity, says the African continent was the largest recipient of its philanthropic aid last year amid rising violence against Christians across Africa. Neville Kirk-Smith, national director of the ACN (UK), has revealed that they have prioritized Africa because of the intense religious persecution. Kirk-Smith pointed out that it is imperative to support the Christian communities in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Kenya and Somalia, which are under continuous attacks by extremist groups.
Of the 16,206 seminary students who train the organization, 8,309 (more than half) are in Africa. 38 per cent of the 13 lakh mas stipend paid by the ACN last year has gone to the African diaspora. Kirk-Smith said a quarter of all ACN published books, including Bibles, religious books, and children’s faith training books, went to Africa because of the importance of sacred texts in sustaining the Christian community in Africa. He also thanked those who donated to the ACN for helping the oppressed African Christians. Last year, more than 1,000 Christians were killed in militant attacks in Nigeria alone.