In accordance with the motto of our founder “Inform, pray and act”, our communication work gives a voice to those who often no longer have one. We present the pressing issues of the Church locally and serve as advocates for persecuted Christians vis-à-vis other bodies, we create the Religious Freedom Report, and prepare public relations reports for print, social media and audiovisual products.
These materials are provided to the National Sections to forward to the local media, including radio and television stations. With information campaigns, publications, events and conferences, the 23 National Sections advocate the welfare of the Church around the world. We also assist with the construction of radio stations and oversee the training of media professionals in the service of evangelisation.
» We give persecuted Christians a voice.«Thomas Heine-Geldern, Executive President
As the “advocate of Christians”, we raise the voice for disadvantaged and persecuted Christians in many urgent cases. We have already been able to galvanise key people in positions of responsibility with our plea for more humanity and charity. Much of our advocacy work is made possible by maintaining contacts on visits of project partner delegations and also by providing high-quality information. As a result, over the past few years, we have gained a high level of trust and a good reputation among politicians from the EU and other parts of the world. This helps us to launch projects and win over fellow campaigners.
With a donation volume of 110 million euros, a good deal of need can be alleviated, but more is required to create a real difference in the world. One means of leverage is the information and motivation of governmental and transnational agencies which can then support larger projects. ACN acts as an advocate of brotherly love and Christians in need, or as ACN Executive President Thomas Heine puts it: “We offer persecuted Christians a voice.”
ACN does not accept government funding, but is able to bring together governments that show a genuine interest in religious freedom and Christian aid with reliable local partners. With the help of this concept, we were able to raise considerable sums for project partners through our mediation efforts: The USA provided 197 million dollars, Germany 35 million euros, Hungary 15 million euros, Italy and the Netherlands 2 million euros each and Austria 1 million euros. These funds were primarily made available to alleviate the plight of Christians in Iraq and to improve their situation.
Perhaps nothing moves us more than the personal experiences of those affected. That is why the ACN Public Affairs team took part in international congresses, symposia and conferences, where the situation of Christians was mostly presented with concrete witness reports, in line with the motto “Do good and talk about it”: For example, at the annual meeting of the European People’s Party (EPP), which represents the largest political group in the European Parliament; or at the meeting of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, an international organisation of Catholic economists and bankers. In addition, special ambassadors for religious freedom were informed, who in turn referred to ACN’s work at international meetings.
The key objective is always to ensure synergistic effects and meet multipliers who can inform the world of opinion leaders in and beyond the media about the plight of Christians and thus mobilise them for dialogue and action.