Archive

  • Send a message of hope to Farah

    When the authorities discovered that Farah’s* dad was a Christian he was taken away by the secret police. Farah, along with her mum and sister, were left to clear up their flat, not knowing if her dad would ever come home. Whilst her dad was eventually bailed and released, the family’s faith in Jesus meant the police were always watching. For their safety, Farah and her family have had to flee the home and country they love.


    No believer should face persecution alone. Could you write to Farah and send her some words of hope and encouragement. Could you let her know that they are not alone and that you’re praying for her?

    When Farah’s* dad was arrested he was asked to provide names of other Christians. The police told him that Farah could be put in prison if he didn’t do what they asked. But with remarkable bravery, he refused. Amazingly he was later released without charge, as long as he didn’t resume any evangelistic activities – otherwise his sentence would be death.

    But Farah’s dad couldn’t stop telling others about Jesus. Farah and her family continued to be watched, and so they made the difficult decision to flee the country. It was too dangerous to stay.

    Life in their new home is really hard. There’s a new language to learn, school and work are different, and Farah misses her friends. But despite all of this, the family know that sticking with Jesus was their only option.

    Whilst in prison, Farah’s dad wrote small messages on his cell wall, to encourage other Christian prisoners. Will you do the same for Farah and her family? Could you write Farah a message to encourage her after her whole world has been torn apart? Use the form on this page to send a message and we’ll make sure it gets through to Farah.

    Guidelines

    • Write in simple English and keep it relatively short
    • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses (for security reasons, please do not use verses that refer to Israel, armies or war)
    • Show sensitivity – do not dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country.
    • *Please note, for security reasons, we’ve changed Farah’s name for this writing campaign – you might want to avoid using this pseudonym in your message.

    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 region’s religion or religious extremists, its government, judicial system or political leaders
    • Do not send money or make proposals to help
    • Do not add your address or any personal details bar name, age and where you are from in the message itself (it’s fine to include those in the later bits of the form if you want to get emails or postal mailings from us!).

    Send a message of hope to Farah

  • Encourage young Christians in Algeria this Christmas…

    Send a Christmas message to youth from churches that have been forced to close…

    The Algerian government has been closing churches and investigating the activities of congregations over the last few months (like the one in the video above). The closures have specifically targeted a group of protestant churches – eight have been closed this year. Could you send a message to young Algerian Christians facing the prospect of Christmas with no church to celebrate in?

    We’re looking to send a bunch of digital messages over the Christmas period to let our family in Algeria know that they aren’t alone and that we are standing with them in prayer – a kind of digital Christmas card! Could you write a short note, something that could fit into a text or WhatsApp message that we could send to them? Maybe an encouraging Bible verse, prayer, song lyrics or some other encouraging words. Use the form on this page to submit your message, then we’ll get it translated and sent on in time for Christmas.

    Real-time WhatsApp message timeline…

    Some of the most recent churches were closed in October – and we heard directly from young Christians who were there when the police raided their services and forced them to leave their church. They kept us up to date via WhatsApp.

    Why are churches closing?

    There are various reasons. Most churches aren’t registered with the government – they need a license, and no licenses have been given in 13 years. The government says the churches and their pastors are spreading ‘destructive ideas’. It’s more likely that the churches are full of converts from Islam, and those people are seen as traitors. Those who convert can be hated, even by their own family, for going against Islam. There are even laws that mean you can get into trouble for ‘shaking the faith of a Muslim’, so Christians have to be careful when talking about their faith. Churches can exist, but they have to stick to the rules – those rules prohibit Bible studies, foreign preachers and Sunday schools, so you can see why many don’t stick to them!

    Send your message to Algerian teenagers here…

    • Write your message to our teenage friends in Algeria below. Please try and keep it short - no more than 100 words would be great... If you have trouble submitting the form, please email your message to youth@opendoorsuk.org...

      Thanks!
    • Your details

    • MM slash DD slash YYYY
    • Want to hear more from Open Doors Youth?

  • Send hope to Boris…

    Send a message of hope to Boris…

    We’ve just heard a tough story about a young Christian called Boris* from Central Asia, and we’d love you to help us send him hope and encouragement!

    We don’t know loads of details and we have to be careful what we share to protect Boris’ identity. Here’s what we know:

    Boris is a young follower of Christ, just 23, and living in Central Asia. He’s only recently become a Christian, but because of his new faith he has been beaten already twice and ended up in hospital. The people in his village are not happy with his choice to follow Jesus.

    Please help us encourage Boris during this really tough time for him. Send him a message of hope below – just a few short sentences, and we’ll make sure he gets them and knows that people are praying for him.

    What to pray…

    Please pray for protection for Boris. Pray he’ll know God’s love and God’s presence in his life will help to overcome fear and hate that people are showing towards him.

    *Please note we’ve changed Boris’ name to protect his identity and the image used in not him.

    Send your message to Boris now…

  • Send hope

    Send hope: Write a letter

    Send hope: Write a letter

    We all need encouragement now and then. And followers of Jesus who are suffering for their faith need encouragement more than most. They need our prayers and words of hope to help get them through, and for the past few decades Open Doors has been helping people in the UK send letters, thoughts and prayers to christians who face persecution all round the world.

    This might all sound a bit old school. These days we’re surrounded by instant communication. Texts, instant messaging, emails – we’re bombarded with messages we read then delete.

    But the point is, a letter is more personal. It’s hand-written. When we write, those who receive our letters aren’t just getting some anonymous text or printed email – they are seeing our handwriting, our drawings and our effort. They know we care. We’re connected. It’s as much about what you write as writing the letter itself.

    It’s pretty amazing, and we’d love you to spend a few minutes reading the stories of the people below and writing letters that will bring hope and transformation.

    Don’t know where to start? Try these tips…

    Getting started

    Want to write a letter to a persecuted christian? Brill. Follow these steps and the tips here and you’ll be well away!

    Step one

    Before you start, please read our simple tips to help you as you write your letters and cards. If you’re not sure what to write, use the sample letter in the tips as a guide for your own letters and cards of encouragement.

    Step two

    Choose who you would like to write a letter to from the list below. You might not want to choose someone, so just address your cards and letters simply to ‘brother’ or ‘sister in Christ’ and we’ll get them to individuals who need encouragement and don’t receive many cards.

    Step three

    Please post your cards and letters to:

    Open Doors UK & Ireland,
    PO Box 6,
    Witney,
    OX29 6WG

    If you write more than one letter, you do not need to send them in individual envelopes or send stamps. Instead, please put all your letters in one envelope.

    Send Hope

    Letter writing tips

    Never written to someone who's suffering because of their faith? Try these tips to help your letter bring encouragement and hope!
    Send Hope

    Send a message of hope to Farah

    Write and encourage two sisters in the Middle East who've had to flee their country after facing threats from police...
    Do Something

    Write to: Mary in Iran

    Email a simple digital message of hope to activist Mary in Iran who was kicked out of uni and has spent time in prison for speaking up against injustice...
    Do Something

    Write to: Kouroush from Iran

    Encourage Kouroush who was arrested and tortured for his faith in Jesus as he seeks to help Iranian refugees in Turkey...
    Do Something

    Write to: Saghar from Iran

    Send hope to Saghar who fled Iran after the house church she was leading was raided...

    Thank you from Colombia…

    “With all respect, I would like to thank you for the gesture of spiritual support and the physical support that you have sent me… ‘The more you know Jesus, the more you love, and the more you love, the more you will want to please him’ (John 17:3).”

    Jamie Tonorio, in a Colombian prison. He was charged with attempted murder after defending a woman who was being treated unfairly by the indigenous authorities.

    Do Something

    Write to: Pastor Jeremiah

    Write a letter to Pastor Jeremiah in Nigeria who's home was attacked and set fire to by militant Fulani herdsmen...

    Send hope: Resources

    Use these resources to help you write and send hope to persecuted Christians.

    Frames for writing to children
    Download now...
    Downloadable letter writing tips
    Download now...
    News / Thoughts

    Thank you from Kenya

    See how writing a letter of encouragement helped one church in Kenya...
  • Write to: Kouroush from 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

  • 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!

  • Send a message of hope this Christmas!

    Daniela’s dad was shot and killed by powerful drug gangs. He was a pastor and he was helping people find freedom from their drug addictions and a new life with Jesus. The gangs didn’t like this, so they took his life. Could you send Daniela and young Christians like her a message of hope and encouragement this Christmas?

    Because of her family’s belief in Jesus, Daniela has lost her dad. This is tragic, especially at Christmas.

    Last year, when Daniela and her brother were struggling with the loss of their dad, Open Doors partners invited them to spend some time over Christmas at a special children’s centre and school. The family received an amazing welcome – Daniela said: “I was so surprised to see all of them, singing a welcome to us. It made me feel so good. I was really happy to be surrounded by so many loving people.” And Open Doors partners have helped the family move to a safer area, providing a new home and opportunities for them all to flourish.

    Daniela says: “It is very important to know that this Christmas there are people around the world praying for me and my family. I am very grateful for that, because I see that God works through these prayers.”

    Could you send a message of hope to Daniela and other children from the children’s centre?

    Download our Christmas decoration template, print it off and write a message to send to Daniela and other young people from the children’s centre.

    Download the template here…

    Message tips:

    • Keep it simple, write a short Bible passage, song lyric or prayer.
    • Let them know you are praying for them
    • Sign the message with your first name and which country you are from (UK or Ireland).
    • And please don’t mention Open Doors. 

    Want to write something in Spanish, or write to a specific child at the children’s centre? Check out the tips here…

    Where do I send the cards?
    Pop your card in an envelope and send it to us at
    PO Box 6
    Witney
    Oxon
    OX29 6WG

  • Write

    Use the power of post and write to a persecuted Christian to let them know you are standing with them and are praying with them…

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