Send messages of hope to Iraq and Syria

As part of the Open Doors community, we invite you to support our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria by writing letters of hope and encouragement—letting them know that thousands of Christians are lifting them up to Jesus.

Each month, we’ll focus on a new theme as we write personal letters to our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria. They will be translated into Arabic and then posted to a designated Facebook page. Believers who follow the page will be able to like, comment and share the content, giving them an opportunity to engage in Christian conversation with an online community of believers.

The story

In 2016, Open Doors began a long-term initiative called Hope for the Middle East to meet the needs of people who were displaced from their homelands or were rebuilding their communities after ISIS forced them to flee. We’re now starting the fifth year of this campaign, which seeks to encourage Christians as they continue to rebuild their homes and communities—living out the gospel in their homelands. We want to see the church in the Middle East rise up again!

The need for hope and encouragement is great. Christians in Iraq and Syria struggle to find employment and rebuild their businesses. Others are still displaced due to war and threats of persecution for their faith. In addition, Iraq has gone through deadly political protests against the government while northern Syria continues to recover after the Turkish incursion in late 2019 and the hunger crisis created by COVID-19 lockdowns.  

Current theme: Contentment

The apostle Paul knew how to practice contentment. In Philippians 4:11-12, he shares, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

If you’re like me, you have learned firsthand about contentment in the past few months as we’ve navigated COVID-19. Instead of going to worship services, we’ve watched online. Instead of gathering with friends and family, we’ve had Zoom meetings. And the list goes on and on.

Our brothers and sisters in the Middle East have also adjusted to new ways of doing things because of the virus—on top of many years of conflict and war.

Thankfully, we can all be encouraged that we don’t have to do this on our own. Look what Paul writes after verses 11 and 12: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

And we can also be in this together—we can send Middle Eastern believers messages of encouragement and Scripture focusing on contentment to remind them they’re not alone—they God’s strength and the worldwide Church behind them. Thank you for reaching out to our family on the other side of the globe. Now, more than ever, it’s critical we remember that we are One Church. One Family.

Photo: Basil, a believer in Iraq, can now provide for his family through an Open Doors microloan.

Logistics

This is a digital letter-writing campaign only. Please do not submit handwritten letters. Instead, we welcome you to use the form on this page to share your message.

Writing Guidelines:

  • To assist in translation, please write in simple English and please keep your letter brief.
  • Be encouraging and include 1-2 Bible verses.
  • Because believers in the Middle East are facing struggles, you might want to share how you deal with personal (spiritual) struggles and find contentment. For example, is there a special prayer or verse that helps you when you frustrated or anxious?
  • Please show sensitivity; please don’t dwell on their plight or share about the blessings of life in your country.

For Security:

  • Do not mention Open Doors in your letters.
  • You may offer your first name, but do not provide your full name or address. Be aware your letter will be posted on a public Facebook page and may be shared on social media by believers in the Middle East.
  • Do not criticize a country’s religion, its government, judicial system, political leaders or religious extremists.
  • Do not make proposals to help.

If you would like to participate in more opportunities like this, you can regularly write letters to persecuted Christians in many countries by bookmarking and revisiting our website.

Send a digital letter:

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