Of Brazil’s approximately 213 million inhabitants, 64% are Catholic. At the same time, the number of believers continues to decline. Twenty years ago, Catholics still made up 75% of the population here. The difficult situation in the country, which is marked by corruption, unemployment, economic crisis and environmental destruction, makes many open to the deceptive promises of salvation made by sects. These are extremely active in Brazil and, unlike the local Church, have a good deal of money at their disposal. ACN therefore promotes the Church to the best of its ability.
The pandemic is an accelerator of the already crippling poverty in the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit Brazil hard and claimed many lives. At the same time, poverty increased dramatically country during the pandemic. The Catholic Church continues to face the great challenge of accompanying people pastorally during this difficult time and, if possible, also providing them with concrete assistance. Furthermore, we know from experience that the presence of the Church is the best protection against the further spread of sects. ACN therefore particularly supports the training of future priests, religious and lay workers in order to strengthen the proclamation of the faith and pastoral care and to ensure this in the future.
ACN’s support for the Church in Brazil
In addition to supporting the training of priests, it is also important to secure the required infrastructure. For example, ACN provided catechetical material for evangelisation work in many dioceses. We used other funds to purchase vehicles to maintain pastoral care in the mostly widespread parishes. The challenges are particularly huge in the Amazon region. The area is rich in resources, but the local population suffers great hardship. The Church plays a key role in helping the poorest and most neglected.
Ensuring reliable mobility for Church representatives is often one of the biggest challenges, as many villages in the jungle can only be reached by water. The dangerous journeys usually take many hours or even days. Here, ACN provided efficient boats and fuel so that priests and religious can reach their faithful quickly and safely.