In action for the persecuted and needy for decades
Beginnings during the Cold War
In 1970, Romania was hit by a severe flood disaster. For a short time the otherwise closed country opened its borders for deliveries of aid supplies. Several pastors from Germany organized and accompanied a delivery to Romania. Once in the country, they met Christians and therefore got first-hand information about the persecution of Christians behind the Iron Curtain and about the great lack of Bibles. Further deliveries of both aid supplies and the longed-for Bibles had undesirable consequences: Five Romanian pastors were arrested. For this reason, a silent march was organized in Germany in 1972 in order to campaign for their release. The name of the organizer was »Aktionskomitee für verfolgte Christen« (»Action Committee for Persecuted Christians«). The prisoners were released and AVC was »born« beginning its work for persecuted Christians and the needy.
Behind the Iron Curtain
Behind the Iron Curtain, AVC visited the persecuted and the families of Christians who had been arrested. This brought people help and above all encouragement, because they knew that they were not alone and not forgotten. Every Bible which got through to them – often at great risk – was a precious treasure. Since then, public demonstrations and events, along with the magazine »AVC-report« (previously: »Verfolgte Christen«), have repeatedly drawn attention to the injustice of the persecution of Christians.
Alongside its support of oppressed Christians, AVC has been at work in a charitable capacity right from the start: through humanitarian aid and disaster relief, development work and social projects. Passing on the good news about Jesus has likewise been one of AVC’s concerns from the beginning.
Since as early as 1972, Swiss people have regularly been carrying out courier trips with aid supplies and forbidden Bibles to various countries in what was then the Eastern Bloc. Initially, an AVC branch office was opened on May 1, 1987, and in 1988 an independent AVC association was founded in Switzerland.
The Austrians, too, have been actively involved in fulfilling the mission of AVC since May 1995. Over the years, with the help of AVC Germany, a very impressive branch of our work has been established there. In 2010 the independent association AVC in Austria was finally founded.
Over the years, contacts have developed all over the globe – and with them new projects.
Today AVC helps in around 50 countries on four continents every year and has been able to make a significant contribution in bringing lasting change for the better to the lives of individuals and whole societies.
In 1990, AVC Germany founded Nehemia Christliches Hilfswerk e.V. in order to be able to better implement the humanitarian work. Since then, some of the projects of the AVC umbrella organization are carried out under the name AVC and others under Nehemia .