Even though Turkey´s Christian population is barely 0,3%, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has supported 100 projects in Turkey in the last twenty yearsACN International Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin
A significant amount of ACN´s help has gone towards Iraqi and Syrian refugees in the Eastern part of the country. Since 2010 ACN donated a total of $182,600 to Iraqi refugees, mainly via the Chaldean Church and the Salesian Fathers in Istanbul. The Salesians look after families and are particularly concerned with ensuring that the children continue to receive a schooled education.
ACN has also helped Syrian refugees in Eastern Turkey, since the crisis in Syria began. From 2013 to 2014 ACN has donated a total of $66,000 towards their needs.
Other types of help given Turkey include the support of the Christian TV studio “SAT 7”, and the printing of the book by the German Jesuit and Islam expert, W. Troll S.J. “Müslümanlar soruyor” “(Muslims Ask, Christians Answer”) – an inter-religious dialogue based on answering the questions on the Christian faith most frequently asked by Muslims. ACN also supported the installation of an internet homepage “Answers to Islam,”covering the same topic as the book.
Other examples of ACN publication projects are the translation and printing of 3,000 copies of ACN´s Little Catechism, “I Believe” in Turkish and help with the printing of the Catechism for children in the Turkish language, entrusted to the Pauline Sisters.
Repairing church property, mainly churches and convents, has been an important part of our help both in the past and today. Among these projects are several construction projects for the convent of the Daughters of Charity in Istanbul. Another example is the restoration of the historical church -Santa Maria Kilisesi, Izmir, Smyrna (near Turkey´s Aegean coast) – one of the oldest churches to have withstood the destruction, and today cared for by Franciscan friars.
Finally, ACN supports the work of different female congregations in various ways. One such example was provide water borehole and an elevator for the Little Sisters of the Poor, Istanbul (Fransiz Fakirhanesi) whose presence in Turkey goes back 120 years and who today run a home for the elderly and have also cared for refugees.
And with this, we invite you to help us… to help our brothers and sisters who will be much in need of your help.