In many countries, Christians are discriminated against and persecuted.

Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me. 

Mt 25:40

From its beginnings, the Church has always provided care for those in need. However, the Church ofen finds itself in urgent need of assistance, particularly in developing countries and in states where it faces displacement, persecution or disasters.

According to our calculations, 62% of the world’s population live in countries where their faith cannot be practised freely, and half of the world’s population live in countries with outright persecution. The fundamental right to religious freedom is not guaranteed in at least 61 countries. Christians bear a disproportionate brunt of the impact.

Where Church life and pastoral care for the faithful are dificult to maintain on their own, the Church is dependent on donations from abroad. Unlike most charities working to alleviate social needs, Aid to the Church in Need – formerly known as Church in Need – concentrates on supporting pastoral care.

This is how donations become concrete aid for Christians in need.

For 77 years, our professionalism, transparency, efectiveness and eficiency have ensured that our benefactors’ donations have the best possible efect precisely where they are most urgently needed: among local churches in need.

  1. The need for project aid arises in a place where the Church sufers from poverty or persecution. The diocese or parish forwards the project to ACN (Aid to the Church in Need) headquarters in Königstein, Germany, with a recommendation from the local bishop or supervisor.
  2. The head of section for the region analyses the project. If necessary, he or she then asks for further information. Within a maximum of three months, ACN headquarters confirms whether the project has been approved or not.
  3. ACN headquarters informs the national ofices about local fundraising projects and financing through benefactors.
  4. The ofices organise information and awareness-raising measures so that donors support the projects.
  5. Benefactors feel called on to join in and donate.
  6. ACN’s national ofices transfer the charitable contributions to ACN headquarters.
  7. ACN decides on projects and their funding, tracks and monitors their implementation.


Between one and six months afer the approval of the project has been granted, ACN assumes the costs for the approved project. In emergencies, ACN headquarters provides immediate funds.