In 2018, we received 7,607 applications for aid from all over the world. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to finance activities amounting to €110.5 million.* The majority of these funds – 80.1% of the donations – went towards mission-related expenses, i.e. concrete project work, information, media support and prayer activities.
We keep the share of necessary expenditures for administration and fundraising as low as possible at 8.5% and 11.4%, respectively, so that as many resources as possible reach local Christians.
In 2018, we supported a total of 5,019 projects in 139 countries with approximately €75.5 million. With a further €13.0 million, we advocated the needs of disadvantaged and persecuted Christians worldwide.
Fluctuating legacy income fell by €11.7 million compared with the previous year, so that we were able to finance fewer projects in 2018. All the more reason for us to be pleased that the current level of income from donations has remained stable. We are building our project commitments for the future on this basis.
The projects we support are primarily of a pastoral nature. In 2018, about one-third of the outlays were used for the construction of seminary buildings and the construction and reconstruction of churches and church facilities.
More than one-fifth of our project budget was used for training priests and sisters, as well as for the further education of priests and faith formation of the laity.
At just under one-eighth, a considerable portion of our funding was also used for emergency aid, including for numerous victims in crisis areas in the Middle East.
An important constant is also our funding of Mass stipends: in 2018, we awarded €12.4 million in Mass stipends to priests around the world.
Distribution of Bibles, religious books and media
» Our relief measures start with close dialogue with the local churches. «
In 2018, regional focal points for our aid projects were placed in the Middle East and Africa. In all our project work, dialogue with the local Church is particularly important to us because the local bishops and religious know best where the need is greatest and which relief measures must be taken. We consider it our task to support the Church, particularly in those places where Christians suffer from war, oppression, persecution and violence.
Unfortunately, a hotspot in 2018 was once again the Middle East, where the faithful are daily exposed to the arbitrariness and violence of the Daesh and other Islamist groups in many places. Therefore, aid projects for Syria and Iraq will continue to be high on our agenda.
Christians in many countries in Africa also suffer from the persecution and violence of radical Islamism. At the same time, Africa is the continent with the strongest growth in believers. Our funding for Africa takes these developments into account, as more than a quarter of our overall project budget went to the local churches of African countries in 2018.
In Asia, on the other hand, our priority is in regions such as Pakistan and the Philippines, where radical Islamism is also on the rise.
We are also active in India, where an increasingly radical Hinduism persecutes and oppresses the Christian minority with violence in many places.
China, Vietnam and Laos, which have suffered under communist power structures for decades, also remain on our list.