Send messages of hope to Iraq and Syria

“Come to me, all you are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

Jesus’ words are for everyone. This month, join us as we encourage our brothers and sisters in the Middle East to rest in their Savior today as they rebuild the church in the midst of uncertainty.

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. We’ll translate these letters into Arabic and then post some of them 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 in 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 crises in both countries created by COVID-19 lockdowns.  

Current theme: Rest

“Come to me, all you are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Since they were first spoken, these words from Jesus have brought comfort and peace to many.

Sometimes, believers have a hard time just resting at Jesus’ feet—taking time to quiet our brains, bodies and souls. But throughout his life on earth Jesus, our Master, rested (Luke 4:16, Mark 6:30-32). And after creating the world, our Heavenly Father rested and enjoyed His work (Gen. 2:2-3).

Take a moment to share your own experiences with our brothers and sisters in the Middle East—tell about the ways you have answered Jesus’ call to come to Him and rest. How did He meet you there? Were their times you didn’t heed His call to rest in Him? What happened?

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: Meray and her parents were displaced by ISIS for a long time, but are now moving back to their own house in Qaraqosh, Iraq.

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 feel 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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