Connect and Encourage
Your letters change lives!
From China to Mexico, Nicaragua, Vietnam and many other countries, people of different religions and minority groups are facing injustice. In some extreme cases, they are being imprisoned, due to their religious beliefs. For someone who is experiencing harassment, violence or imprisonment because of their religion or belief, a letter from you can be a lifeline of hope.
What is Connect & Encourage?
At CSW, we run ‘Connect & Encourage’ which is an address book of religious prisoners, their families and individuals who have been targeted because of their religion or belief. These people are located across the world and have asked to receive cards and letters of encouragement.
Messages of support are hugely inspiring to the person you’re writing to. They also show prison authorities that the world is watching, which has led to prisoners getting better treatment in the past. Your words really can change lives!
Here’s just a handful of prisoners across the world currently being detained simply because they practice a religion. Many of these religious prisoners are serving long sentences, with little contact to the outside world.
Pastor Lorenzo’s visits and communication with his wife Maridilegnis Carballo have been severely limited since he was arrested after joining the historic peaceful 11 July 2021 demonstrations across Cuba.
Pastor Lorenzo was sentenced to seven years in prison. On Christmas Eve 2022 he was transferred from Boniato Maximum Security Prison to the minimum-security prison La Caoba.
In 2022, Bishop Rolando Jose Álvarez was blockaded inside the curia along with priests and lay leaders by the government for 15 days, before the security forces stormed the curia and arrested the group.
Bishop Álvarez, has refused to leave Nicaragua and has been transferred from house arrest to a maximum-security prison - sentenced to 26 years and four months in prison.
Pastor Wang Yi was detained along with over 100 other members of Early Rain Church on 9 December 2018, in a large-scale crackdown by the authorities.
He is serving a nine-year prison sentence for ‘inciting to subvert state power’ and ‘illegal business operations’.
‘Today I received all these postcards that some brothers and sisters in the UK sent to cheer us up and let us know they are praying for us and our families. … God has wanted you to make our adversity a spring of joy.’
Pastors Yeremi and Yarian, Cuba
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#2 CSW manifesto
We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs