By Clare Creegan
PRAYER, information and action for the suffering Church is the focus of a campaign being launched by a leading Catholic charity at World Youth Day in Poland later this month.
Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need will invite those taking part in the event in Krakow, Poland from 26th-31st July to show solidarity with oppressed and persecuted Christians.
The ACN “Let’s be One” campaign is an opportunity for all young people to connect with others who share their faith in the presence of the Pope.
ACN has collaborated with the production studio Catholic Radio and Television Network (CRTN) to produce several short videos reflecting a day in the life of young Catholics in such countries as Israel, Papua New Guinea, Iraq, Cuba, Kenya and Poland.
Describing the campaign, Mark von Riedemann, ACN’s Director of Communications, said: “It is our call to be one with the suffering Church; but also that young people experiencing challenges to the Faith around the world are also united with us in Krakow through this campaign.
“They will join us in prayer, knowing that we are one body, one Church.”
To provide a greater insight into the day-to-day realities for Christians in different countries CRTN has also been offered the opportunity to screen a selection of its documentaries and short productions at the Kijów cinema throughout WYD.
Father Waldemar Cis?o, Director of ACN national office in Poland, described a key feature of the ‘Let’s Be One’ campaign – a musical presentation titled ‘Because of My Name’.
He said: “Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. We cannot remain silent in the face of such suffering and cruelty.
“As word and music are one of the best means to reach young people, ACN decided to prepare for World Youth Day an oratorio (a piece of sacred music) called ‘Because of My Name’, dedicated to persecuted Christians.
“Nowadays young people are being told that faith is not important, that it is not fashionable.
“Meanwhile in many places around the world Christians are being forced to make a dramatic decision: to renounce Christ and save their life, or remain faithful. Very often, they chose the latter.
“With the oratorio, we want to show young people that Christ and faith are what is most important in life.
“This musical piece is also a call from ACN to those who rule this world not to be indifferent to the struggle of Christians who die for their Faith.”
Composed by Piotr Rubik, from Poland, the oratorio will be presented at the Main Square (Rynek G?ówny) in Krakow on Friday, 29th July after the Way of the Cross led by the Pope.
ACN has also been invited by the WYD Committee to take part in the Way of the Cross.
A group of 21 representatives from different countries will carry the Cross from the second to the third station: Jesus falls for the first time.
Of the event, Mark von Riedemann said: “This visible sign of unity is the witness to our campaign ‘Let’s be One’.”
Aid to the Church in Need is a Pontifical Foundation directly under the Holy See. As a Catholic charity, ACN supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in need through information, prayer, and action.
Founded in 1947 by Fr Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope St John Paul II named “An outstanding Apostle of Charity”, the organisation is now at work in 140 countries throughout the world.
Undertaking thousands of projects every year, the charity provides emergency support for people experiencing persecution, transport for clergy and lay Church workers, Child’s Bibles, media and evangelisation projects, churches, Mass stipends and other support for priests and nuns and training for seminarians.
Aid to the Church in Need UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1097984) and Scotland (SC040748). ACN’s UK office is in Sutton, Surrey and there is a Scottish office in Motherwell, near Glasgow and another office based in Lancaster that covers the North-West.
Please always acknowledge Aid to the Church in Need as the source when using our material.
For more information, contact John Pontifex, ACN UK Head of Press & Information, 020 8661 5161 or John Newton, Press Officer on 020 8661 5167.