Archive

  • Write to: Kouroush in Iran

    Kouroush grew up in a Muslim family in Iran. He first heard the gospel at school but resented the friend who told him about it. Years later, the same friend invited him to a house church meeting which ignited a period of searching that led to him giving his life to Jesus.

    Kouroush – whose name we’ve changed to protect his identity – got involved in a house church and eventually became a leader. But it came at a price – he was arrested and tortured. Later released, Kouroush continued his ministry, but the authorities again tracked him down. He had no option but to leave the country.

    He fled to Turkey where he went through an enormously tough transition. Without a job, his family, and the familiarities of his own country, Kouroush was sad, fearful and confused.

    The experience led Kouroush and his new church to draw up plans to create a safe space for Iranian refugees to settle in Turkey. The centre – due to open this year – will house a library of Farsi Christian books, a room for discipleship training, a base for aid distribution, and space for people to share their stories and receive counselling.

    “Without the international family of God, we wouldn’t have been able to establish this centre,” Kouroush shares. “I feel like God’s hand was in this. He brought us all together.”

    You can encourage Kouroush in this new and exciting venture by writing him a personal letter of encouragement.

    Writing guidelines

    •  We advise using greeting cards, artwork by children and postcards
    • Postcards with scenes of countryside, landscapes, mountains, flowers, water, and gardens are much beloved by Iranians. However, please do not send cards that picture animals as the main image as this is culturally inappropriate (animals as part of a landscape picture are accepted)
    • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses (for security reasons, please do not use verses that refer to Israel, armies or war)
    • Write in simple English (or in Farsi). Keep your message brief and print clearly
    • Show sensitivity. Please do not dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country.

    For security

    • Do not mention Open Doors
    • Do not mention Islam
    • Do not refer to Israel, even when using Scripture. Also, do not use images, flags or maps of Israel, or Hebrew signs
    • Do not criticise the country’s religion or religious extremists, its government, judicial system or political leaders
    • Do not send money or make proposals to help
    • You can disclose your name and country, but do not provide your full address.
    • Send to us!

    Send your messages to messagestoiran@opendoorsuk.org

    And we’ll do the rest!

    Please note this campaign ends 1 October 2021

  • Write to: Mary in Iran

    Mary is a brave 22-year-old Christian convert and activist who has paid a high price for her faith and willingness to speak out for human rights in Iran.

    She spent six months in prison for being part of a house church, during which time she experienced awful, degrading treatment. It’s not the only time Mary has been arrested and imprisoned for her activities.

    Mary has suffered in other ways, too – she’s been kicked out of her university and lost her job as a gymnastics teacher.

    “I don’t seek pity, lamentation, or mourning,” Mary says. “I stand here only to expose these unspoken dimensions of oppression, until the day comes when I see the realisation of the inalienable rights of every victim of human rights violations.”

    Will you write to Mary to encourage her in her faith and ministry? Check out the guidelines below the form before you send your message…

    Writing guidelines

    • This is a digital campaign, so email messages are best. We do accept greeting cards, artwork by children, and postcards, but these will need to be scanned or photographed, and sent to us at the below email address
    • Postcards with scenes of countryside, landscapes, mountains, flowers, water, and gardens are much beloved by Iranians. However, please do not send cards that picture animals as the main image as this is culturally inappropriate (animals as part of a landscape picture are accepted)
    • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses (for security reasons, please do not use verses that refer to Israel, armies, or war)
    • Write in simple English (or in Farsi). Keep your message brief and print clearly
    • Show sensitivity. Please don’t dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country.

    For security

    • Do not mention Open Doors
    • Do not mention Islam
    • Do not refer to Israel, even when using Scripture. Also, do not use images, flags or maps of Israel, or Hebrew signs
    • Do not refer to the UK or USA or places within the USA or UK. Also, do not use images (e.g. the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, a flag, the Queen)
    • Do not criticise the country’s religion or religious extremists, its government, judicial system or political leaders
    • Do not send money or make proposals to help
    • You can disclose your name, but do not provide your country or full address.

    Send to us!

    Send your messages to messagestoiran@opendoorsuk.org

    And we’ll do the rest!

    Please note this campaign ends 1 October 2021

  • Write to: Saghar from Iran

    Saghar grew up in a Muslim family in Iran and first encountered Jesus through a dream. She went on to lead a small house church. They were meeting when the secret service forced their way in.

    Despite feeling terrified, Saghar remained calm as she faced interrogation. Thankfully, she avoided arrest by exposing the agents’ need for a warrant – which they didn’t have. But she knew it wouldn’t be long for a warrant to be issued. Her arrest felt inevitable. She had to leave Iran, immediately.

    Three days later, Saghar was at the airport. She was queuing to board her plane when she spotted one of the secret agents who raided her home. Nearing the boarding gate, the security agent clocked her, but miraculously she made it on board.

    Saghar later discovered that the moment she was on the plane, security had called her name – a warrant for her arrest had been issued. But they were too late – Saghar was gone.

    Now living in a different country, Saghar is grateful to have escaped. But her experience has left scars. In the first year living abroad, she suffered from nightmares each night. Thankfully, Saghar is now doing better, but she remains haunted by occasional flashbacks.

    “Fellowship is essential for growth,” Saghar says, reflecting on the house church she left behind. Will you help fill the gap this has left by writing her a letter of encouragement?

    Writing guidelines

    • We advise using greeting cards, artwork by children and postcards
    • Postcards with scenes of countryside, landscapes, mountains, flowers, water, and gardens are much beloved by Iranians. However, please do not send cards that picture animals as the main image as this is culturally inappropriate (animals as part of a landscape picture are accepted)
    • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses (for security reasons, please do not use verses that refer to Israel, armies or war)
    • Write in simple English (or in Farsi). Keep your message brief and print clearly
    • Show sensitivity. Please do not dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country.

    For security

    • Do not mention Open Doors
    • Do not mention Islam
    • Do not refer to Israel, even when using Scripture. Also, do not use images, flags or maps of Israel, or Hebrew signs
    • Do not criticise the country’s religion or religious extremists, its government, judicial system or political leaders
    • Do not send money or make proposals to help
    • You can disclose your name and country, but do not provide your full address.

    Send to us!

    Send your drawings, cards or letters to us at:

    PO Box 6,
    Witney,
    Oxon,
    OX29 6WG

    And we’ll do the rest!

    Please note this campaign ends 1 October 2021

  • NANO

    Open Doors Youth NANO are a series of themed simple session outlines that focus on incredible stories from persecuted Christians. Whilst the sessions all highlight the context of persecution, you can use the material to work through key discipleship themes.

    We passionately believe the persecuted church has much to teach us about what being a Christian looks like – our persecuted family aren’t just victims, but courageous and passionate followers of Jesus who can inspire and challenge us to a braver faith. And that’s why we’ve put these ideas together.

    Free themed session outlines

    We’ve created NANO as way to show that the real stories from persecuted Christians can inspire all kinds of areas of our faith as we grow as Christians. We shouldn’t just hear from our global church family one Sunday a year or when the theme of persecution arises in the news. Persecuted Christians have so much to teach us about prayer, forgiveness, passion, worship, giving, distraction, hope, perseverance, God’s plan for us and much, much more. And the lessons they can bring to us just seem all the more authentic and valuable because of the context of threat, violence and intimidation that they live with.

    Just sign up to check out the sessions and see for yourself. We’re releasing sessions regularly (every 2-3 months). Most will have videos, all will have interactive activities, Bible material and prayer times, plus all have been written to work both online or in person (depending on lockdown restrictions). The outlines aren’t exhaustive – they can be used as a script for a session or you can take the elements you think that will work for you and adapt the rest.. you’ll know what will work best in your group.

    The current sessions

    Prayer series – featuring Pete Grieg video explainers
    To launch Nano we’ve created a series on prayer. These four short sessions look at what prayer is (and how to do it authentically), answered prayer, unanswered prayer and how to persevere in prayer.

    Coming up…

    Forgiveness: May 2021

    Get some or all of the sessions using the form below – all are simple downloads, so you’ll get them immediately. Woo.

    Download your free NANO resources

    • Choose your NANO Session or Series...

    • Please also send me...

    • Your details...

    • Sorry - we can only send resources to UK residents. You can download our resources below if you're from outside the UK.
    • Date Format: DD slash MM slash YYYY
    • Under 13?
      If you are under 13 we can't send you regular communications. You can email us at youth@opendoorsuk.org to request any resources though!

    • Are you a youth leader?

    • If you have any issues submitting the form, please don't give up - just email us at youth@opendoorsuk.org with your name, address and date of birth and we'll email you the downloads. Thanks.
  • Write to: Pastor Jeremiah

    “When we go to sleep at night, we are never sure whether we will make it alive to the next day.”

    Pastor Jeremiah – whose name we’ve changed to protect his identity – was attacked whilst at his home in Nigeria’s middle belt in April 2020. The attack was part of a wave of violence against Christian farmers and communities, carried out by militant Fulani herdsmen. His home, and the connecting church building where he is a pastor, was set on fire and many of his things were destroyed.

    Not all the Christians in the community survived this attack. But Pastor Jeremiah is still selflessly shepherding his people toward hope, reminding them that God is with them and still has plans for them. “We should give glory to God,” he says. “He is alive and will help us.”

    Thanks to you support, Pastor Jeremiah and the believers under his care, have received food, medicine, help rebuilding homes, spiritual support and trauma care. “If you had not come, we would have suffered even more,” he says.

    Pastor Jeremiah is one the many Christians in Nigeria who risk their lives daily to live out their faith in Jesus. He needs encouragement – more so given his responsibilities as a pastor – and you can do that by writing to him personally.

    Writing guidelines

    • Greeting cards, children’s artwork, and postcards are best
    • Write in simple English and keep your letter brief
    • Print clearly
    • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses
    • Show sensitivity; please don’t dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country.

    Security guidelines…

    • Do not mention Open Doors in your letters
    • If writing a postcard, please send it in an envelope and do not write the Open Doors’ address on the postcard
    • You may provide your name, but do not provide your full address
    • Do not criticise a country’s religion or religious extremists, its government, judicial system, or political leaders
    • Do not send money or make proposals to help.

    Then send to us…

    Send your drawings, cards or letters to us at:

    PO Box 6
    Witney
    Oxon
    OX29 6WG

    And we’ll do the rest! Thank you!

  • We support people who are beaten, tortured,
    imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.