Connect & Encourage
Your letters change lives.
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. Not only are your messages of support hugely inspiring to the person you’re writing to, but they also show prison authorities that the world is watching, which has led to prisoners getting better treatment in the past. Your words really do change lives!
What is Connect & Encourage?
Connect & Encourage is an address book of people who have asked to receive cards and letters, and it features case updates, letter templates and writing tips. It's a brilliant way to stand in solidarity with church leaders, human rights workers, church members and activists from all over the world who suffer daily for their religion or beliefs, or for defending the rights of others. Many of them are in prison – all of them are in desperate need of encouragement and hope.
“We would like you to share this with the friends of CSW, what these beautiful cards mean to us. 17 years ago you were all able to get us freedom. Victor and I continue to walk together, united, and with great enthusiasm for each new day. Thank you friends for giving us back our lives and allowing us to return to you all children who will help make our world a better place.”
Juana and Victor were law students in Peru who were arrested in 1993 and convicted of terrorism charges, leaving their two year old son to be raised by their extended family. It was two years before the couple would be able to see each other again. CSW supporters wrote many cards to the family after they were included in Connect & Encourage. These messages still decorate the walls of the couple’s home. Juana and Victor were released in 2002. They have had two more children, and are now grandparents.
N.B. Post to Cuba from the US is currently being returned, so if you are based in the US please do not write to people in Cuba at the moment. Post to Cuba from all other countries is unaffected.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay to include Christian greetings and Bible verses?
If the person you’re writing to is a Christian, it’s okay to send them cards and messages that are obviously Christian. However, if you want to be safe, or the person you are writing to has different religious beliefs (we always indicate this), cards with colourful pictures or landscapes on the front are always appreciated.
What if I can’t write in the person’s language?
Even if the person receiving your card can’t read English, receiving a card can still bring them hope and encouragement by reminding them that they are not forgotten. If you can write in the language of the person – even if it is just a phrase or two – please do! They will appreciate your effort.
Will my letters actually reach the intended person?
Although some letters may be intercepted, we do everything we can to ensure that most will reach their destination.
Is it safe to include my name and address on my cards?
As long as you are happy to receive a reply, including your contact details isn’t a problem. However, you may receive letters requesting financial help. Always contact CSW regarding these requests before you respond to them.
Can I send letters to every country where CSW works?
We have only included people in Connect & Encourage if we can verify that receiving messages won’t put them in danger. In some of the countries where we work, sending letters and cards could further endanger the recipients. Instead, please remember these people in your prayers, asking God to grant them strength, protection and comfort.
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#1 CSW manifesto
We believe everyone has the right to practise a religion or belief of their choice.
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#2 CSW manifesto
We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs