Ahead of Christmas, Catholic Pontifical Entity Launches 24 Days of Free Documentaries

Still from CRTN production on Iraq.

The leadership of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International is announcing free access to 24 documentaries that capture the reality of Christian life in anticipation of the feast of the Nativity.

In a communique sent to ACI Africa Tuesday, December 1, the Catholic Pontifical Organization notes that the project, offered in partnership with the documentary film production company Catholic Radio and Television Network (CRTN), addresses the realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because of the pandemic, Advent will be very different for many people this year. To help prepare for the feast of the Nativity, the documentary film production company Catholic Radio and Television Network (CRTN), in cooperation with the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), offers free access to its YouTube channel to 24 stories of faith in remote countries and regions,” ACN leadership notes in its communique that provides a link to the calendar.

CRTN was founded in 1987. With the support of ACN, it produces documentaries, weekly radio and television interviews and short-format programs broadcast on 133 Catholic and public channels.

The Advent calendar, alongside the documentaries of stories of Christian life in different countries around the world is available at


ACN leadership whose activities are centered on Christians in need around the globe says that the documentaries are not up-to-date reports, but rather a “window” that will help viewers “prepare for the arrival of Christ by watching stories of heroism, dedication and suffering of the faithful in countries like Israel, Venezuela, Pakistan, Nicaragua, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Egypt, Indonesia, Ukraine and Belarus, among others.” 

“Stories such as that of Shahbaz Bhatti, defender of the rights of minorities in Pakistan, who was assassinated March 2, 2011 in Islamabad,” ACN notes in the communique, highlighting some of the stories captured in the documentaries.

“His (Bhatti) ‘window’ will open December 4 to coincide with the feast of Saint Barbara who died a martyr for defending the faith.”

December 6 will feature Fr. Michael Shields’ work, a modern-day Saint Nicholas of Bari, who the officials of the Charity organization note, helps the poor and abandoned in Magadan, Russia.

The documentaries, which, so far, are only available in English, were broadcast in 2015 and 2016 on 80 television channels around the world.

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Through information, prayer and action, ACN supports Christians who are persecuted, oppressed or in need. The foundation has national offices in 23 countries and annually supports more than 5,000 projects in more than 130 countries. 

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.