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 who were rebuilding their communities after ISIS forced them to flee. We set out to encourage and sustain the church in the Middle East—particularly in Iraq and Syria—to continue serving God while facing war, attacks or persecution.
Open Doors is excited to report we are in the fourth year of this campaign. We’re focusing on restoring hope to Christians as they continue to rebuild their homes and communities so that they can, in turn, carry out Jesus’ Great Commission by 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. Many of our persecuted brothers and sisters in both Iraq and Syria are struggling to find employment and rebuild their businesses. Others are still displaced due to war and threats of persecution for their faith.
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 letters to our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria. This month’s theme “the inevitability of persecution” is outlined below.
Have you ever gotten caught up in the illusion that because you are a Christian, everything in your life should be wonderful? Many of us have however, this is not what we are promised at all. Instead, we are promised that if we are following Christ, we will be persecuted. The Church has a long history of suffering persecution back to the days of Jesus and the disciples. Thankfully, He promises He will never leave us and to give us the words to speak.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).
“For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:12).
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, through all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35, 37).
As you write to your brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria this month, please share how you have experienced God’s presence with you when you were discriminated against or faced hardship because of your faith in Christ. Or maybe share an experience where you had to depend completely on Him; and you saw Him come through for you.
Hope is dawning in the Middle East. As followers of Jesus, we’ve been called to stand with His Church. We think you’ll enjoy playing a part in what is happening there in the birthplace of our faith.
One Church. One Family.
*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.
Please do not submit handwritten letters for this campaign as this is a digital campaign only. Instead,we welcome you to use the form on this page to submit your letter. It will then be translated and shared in a closed Facebook group so it can be read by many of your persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria.