The tragic fate of Christians in the Middle East
By Robert Lalonde, ACN Canada
Translation by Amanda Bridget Griffin
Montreal, Wednesday January 21, 2015 – Marie-Claude Lalonde, National Director of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Canada, will be giving a conference on the theme of The tragic fate of Christians in the Middle East. This presentation will take place (in French) on Thursday, January 22, at 7:30pm at 2715 Côte Sainte-Catherine road, in Montreal.
This follows a report entitled Religious Freedom Report in the World 2014 which was published by the International Catholic Charity ACN this past November, 2014. This report, which is published every 2 years, was compiled by journalists, academics and commentators, reveals the disquieting problems facing the faithful living in 116 countries of 196 around the world.
“This work shows that religious liberty is compromised in close to 60% of countries around the world,” explains Marie-Claude Lalonde, “which should send a clear message to governments and religious leaders that this question can no longer be ignored.”
Along with the portrait the national director will trace with regard to persecution lived by Christians during the tragic events in Iraq last summer, the participants will have the opportunity to hear the testimony of Dr. Catherine Elian, a Syrian doctor who has been established in Montreal for two years. She was born and trained in Aleppo, in Syria and in Paris, and was very active in helping youth in her country and knows well the situation lived by Christians as many of her family members still reside in the country.
And Marie-Claude Lalonde concluded in saying “The emergency relief package of 5.77 million dollars – one of the most considerable in ACN history – which is currently in use to fund projects in Iraq, demonstrates the scope of the tragedy lived by our Iraqi brothers and sisters. We still have so much work ahead of us,” she says, “for we know these projects are far from able to put to an end this unspeakable catastrophe. The threat remains constant at the fragility of their hearts no less persistent.”
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is an international Catholic organization which has as mandate “fraternal charity towards local suffering and poor Churches.” Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried, it helps the Church in need in both spiritual and material ways in over 145 countries.