Connect & Encourage

Write to people being persecuted as a result of their beliefs

“These letters mean so much to us. We know they are from people all over the world and when we hold these cards it is as if the people who wrote them are here in the room with us.” Pastor Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso, Cuba

When you write to someone who’s suffering because of their faith, it gives them incredible encouragement – but it’s so much more than that.

  • It can get better conditions for prisoners,
  • It gives you an easy way to connect directly with people you have been praying for,
  • It’s a great opportunity to spur one another on to doing something practical about injustice.

Download Connect & Encourage, our free letter writing guide and address book to start writing today!

Download this reflection series on the letter of 1 Peter as extra print-outs to use in your church or small group.

 

Write to Filep Karma in prison in Indonesia

Filep Karma, a civil servant in West Papua, was charged with treason and rebellion after raising the ‘Morning Star’ flag to commemorate West Papua’s independence.

Filep Karma

He has now served seven years of the fifteen-year prison sentence he was given. At the trial, the chief judge mocked him and his Christian faith, saying “Where is your God? I don’t see your God here.”

Filep has been beaten and tortured several times. Except for a brief visit to Jakarta for surgery, he has been denied medical treatment despite suffering from infections and various other medical problems.

Please write to him in prison.

 

Frequently asked questions:

“I’m not convinced my card will make a difference to the person who receives it.”

Yes, it really will!

Gloria told us, “Sometimes I ran out of the strength to pray myself. In the darkest moments, when we felt totally hopeless, alone and desperate and we couldn’t even pray for ourselves, it was alright because we knew there were people all over holding us up in prayer, when we ourselves could not.”

Imagine thinking you’re facing a horrific situation all alone. Maybe your husband is a church leader who was shot dead after he refused to stop preaching. That’s what happened to Gloria’s husband. Or maybe you’ve been imprisoned because of your faith – and then you get a card from a person on the other side of the world who’s thinking about you. Your cards could be a lifeline in someone’s darkest moments, just like they were for Gloria.

“OK, that’s great, but it won’t really help their situation, will it?”

Yes, it will!

We’ve seen many times that a prisoner’s conditions improve once they start getting post from abroad. They’ve received extra food, more exercise, and much-needed medical care – as a direct result of your cards and letters. What’s more, Pastor Truong in Vietnam was able to share his faith with his prison guards after they asked him why he was getting so many cards!

If a prisoner receives lots of post from abroad, the prison authorities know that people outside the country have heard about this prisoner’s case, so they can’t get away with mistreating the prisoner.

“But I don’t know what to write.”

We’ve made it easy for you! Here are some guidelines.

  • Just write a little bit about yourself – where you live, what the area is like, your family, your hobbies, and so on.
  • Most of the people in Connect & Encourage are Christians, so you could write an encouraging Bible verse in the card, and some Christian greetings such as ‘God bless you’ and ‘May the Lord be with you’.
  • Even if the person who gets your card can’t read English, receiving it will still encourage them by reminding them that they’re not forgotten.
  • Writing relevant Bible references is useful for non-English speakers so they can look up the verses in their own language.
  • If you’re happy to receive a reply, it’s safe to include your name and address on the cards. Many people have developed rewarding relationships in this way, by writing to and hearing from people who suffer because of their faith.

You’ll find answers to a few more questions you may have, inside Connect & Encourage. Download it today and get writing!

 

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Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a human rights organisation which specialises in religious freedom, works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promotes religious liberty for all.

For more information, please call 0845 456 5464, email admin@csw.org.uk or visit www.csw.org.uk