Donations to Aid to the Church in Need on the rise

This morning, the report of activities and accounts of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) for the year 2022 was presented.

Loreto Rios-June 15, 2023-Reading time: 4 minutes

Nigerian Christians displaced by jihadist terrorism ©OSV News photo/courtesy ACN

The presentation of the memory The event was attended by Antonio Sáinz de Vicuña, president of ACN Spain, Javier Menéndez Ros, director, and Carmen Conde, head of finance and legacies.

The president, Antonio Sáinz de Vicuña, began by saying that the year 2022 was marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which affects not only this country, but also the economy of many countries. He also pointed out that the year 2022 had "an extraordinary response" of donations and inheritances or bequests, obtaining record income.

Aid to countries in need

During 2022 there were 364,695 benefactors from all over the world, whose contributions have enabled the realization of 5702 projects supported in 1199 dioceses. 128 countries have been helped and 13 million more have been raised than in 2021.

31.5 % of the aid has been allocated to AfricaThe Middle East, a continent suffering great poverty and religious persecution, mainly due to jihadism, is next, with 18.1 % of aid. Next, with 18.1 % of aid, is the Middle East, followed by Eastern Europe (17.7 %), due to the war in Ukraine. Latin America accounted for 16.7 % and Asia and Oceania for 14.6 %.

The most aided countries have been, in order, Ukraine (9,659,960 €), Lebanon (8,423,241 €), which received more aid especially due to the explosion in the port of Beirut, India (7,014323 €), a country with great poverty and radical nationalism, where Christians and Muslims are persecuted, Syria (6.560,036), Brazil (4,917,990), Tanzania (4,869,841), Congo (4,771,098), Iraq (2,776,688), one of ACN's main targets since the invasion of Daesh, and Nigeria (2,281,342), one of the countries with the greatest persecution of Christians in the world and with a very strong jihadist terrorism.

With regard to the Ukraine, Javier Menéndez pointed out that on the very afternoon of the invasion, ACN personnel in the country began to mobilize to provide aid. The objective was not so much to rebuild churches, which would be useless in a war zone, but to help the refugees and the local church, and to welcome in convents all types of people, regardless of religion, to offer them shelter, food or heating.

ACN Projects

27.8 % of the projects have been for the reconstruction and construction of churches, 15.5 % for the support of priests (through Mass stipends), 14.7 % for the formation of priests and religious, 11.5 % for aid to refugees and emergency cases (as pointed out by Javier Menéndez Ros, director of ACN, aid in emergency cases is the most "social" project of all, 11 % was earmarked for means of transport for evangelization (not only cars or trucks, but also bicycles, donkeys or motorboats for the Amazon) and 9.2 % for the formation of lay catechists, indispensable in so many places due to the lack of priests.

In general, the aid has increased with respect to 2021, except in the case of Mass stipends for the support of priests, but, as pointed out by Javier Menéndez, this is because during COVID there was a higher than normal increase in these aids, that is why a small decrease is observed in 2022.

Specifically, 972 church construction and reconstruction projects have been carried out, 1,872,240 masses have been celebrated to support priests, 13,836 priests, 20,909 nuns, 33,821 catechists and pastoral agents have been trained, 1253 vehicles have been purchased and 1,290,326 bibles and religious books in indigenous languages have been acquired.

The people most helped

Priests were the most helped by ACN in 2022, with €29,073,637. This is because Aid to the Church in Need emerged precisely to help priests who were in the Iron Curtain, and still continues to live from that spirit of helping priests. 23,950,235 has gone to dioceses and bishops, 13,672,650 to lay people, 12,648,540 to seminarians, 9,889,634 to active religious and 1,176,287 to refugees, among other people helped.

Revenues and expenses

69.6 % of the income came from donations and 30.3 % from inheritances and bequests. As for expenses, 88.1 % were for financing projects, 4.3 % for administrative and structural matters, 3.9 % for fundraising and 3.7 % for information, awareness and evangelization campaigns. Thus, the report shows that 91.8 % of the expenses are for ACN's own purposes (financing of projects and information and awareness-raising).

Donations have increased by 3.6 % over 2022, with a total income of €19,362,274. There were 23,023 benefactors, 6.6 % more than in 2021. Of these, 3138 are new benefactors and 10,434 are stable benefactors (making monthly, quarterly or semi-annual donations) which is 5.1 % more than in 2021. The latter group accounts for approximately 45 % of the total number of benefactors and 25.8 % of the income comes from them.

Emergency campaigns

According to Javier Menéndez, aid campaigns are not only about acquiring funds, but also about involving benefactors and creating a "current of prayer" between benefactors and beneficiaries, providing information and "making us aware of the reality of our brothers and sisters" in many parts of the world.

As far as emergency campaigns are concerned, there were two very important ones for Ukraine, which will be extended to 2023 as the war continues, one for Syria and one for Pakistan.


In addition to thanking the benefactors for their generosity, the director of ACN Spain also wanted to highlight the role of the volunteers, 200 in 2022, with 35 dioceses with ACN throughout Spain and 23 of them with physical delegations.

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