Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 27 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Angela Merici
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Advent Calendar 2020: 24 days of waiting, 24 stories of faith

With picture of still from CRTN production on Iraq (© ACN)

Aid to the Church in Need

Aid to the Church in Need - published on 12/01/20

These free documentaries capture the harsh reality of Christian life around the world.

A Catholic television production company has created an advent calendar that comes with free access to 24 documentaries that capture the reality of Christian life in different countries around the world.

Due to the pandemic, Advent this year 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), offersfree access on its YouTube channel to 24 stories of faith in remote countries and regions.

The documentaries are not up-to-date reports, but rather a “window” that will help viewers to 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. His “window” will open December 4 to coincide with the feast of Saint Barbara who died a martyr for defending the faith. Then, there is the “window” of December 6, which features Father Michael Shields’ work, a modern-day Saint Nicholas of Bari, who helps the poor and abandoned in Siberia, Russia.

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

Catholic Radio and Television Network (CRTN) was founded in 1987. With the support of Aid to the Church in Need, it produces documentaries, weekly radio and television interviews and short-format programs broadcast on 133 Catholic and public channels.

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.

The calendar is available at

Here is the documentary film for December 1, “Israel: A promised land”:

This article was first published by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), and is republished here with kind permission. To learn more about ACN’s mission to help Christians in need visit

AdventReligious Freedom
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
The 4 Ways to read Scripture every Catholic should know
Philip Kosloski
When did Christians start praying the Hail Mary?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
J-P Mauro
Polish statue of Christ found peeking out of a growing tree
Cerith Gardiner
Quarterback Philip Rivers' retirement announcement reflects his s...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
The Litany of St. Joseph
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.