CNA Newsroom, Aug 1, 2023 / 11:00 am
As World Youth Day (WYD) kicks off in Lisbon, Portugal, this week, the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is launching several initiatives to raise awareness of Christian persecution worldwide. The aim is to encourage pilgrims and participants to actively support the suffering Church in their own countries.
Catarina Martins de Bettencourt, the national director of ACN’s national office in Portugal, stated in a July 25 press release: “We aim to enlighten as many WYD participants as possible about the reality of the persecuted Church worldwide, which unfortunately remains unknown to many.”
The ACN team in Lisbon has been busy with preparations, rallying volunteers, preparing materials for exhibitions, and finalizing plans for the event. “This is a unique opportunity, and we don’t want to waste it,” Martins de Bettencourt said. “Participating in an event as significant as WYD is not an everyday occurrence, and for ACN, we are treating it as a significant responsibility.”
Throughout the weeklong festival of the faith, ACN will host several events under the title “Heroes in Faith.” These events aim to highlight the reality of the persecuted Church in the world and the testimonies of faith that the organization receives from countries where religious freedom is absent.