Send messages of hope to Iraq and Syria

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Rev. 21:4).

This month, encourage our brothers and sisters in the Middle East by sharing your joy in knowing that as God’s people, we will live forever with Christ.

Because you’re 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. Our partners will translate the 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 had returned to 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. And both countries are recovering from hunger crises created by COVID-19 lockdowns.  

Current theme: Easter

As 2020 quickly brought to the surface—in this life we all have many sorrows and challenges. The fragility of our lives is on full display. And for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, these sorrows and challenges include the persecution Paul writes about in 2 Corinthians:

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:9).

Thankfully, because of Christ’s sacrifice, there is so much more waiting for us than what we experience in this life. After the season of lament culminates in the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection, we awaken with a new hope. He is alive!

“In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen’” (Luke 24:5-6).

Please take a moment and share with your family in the Middle East an example of a time when the knowledge of your eternal life with Christ helped you push through the sorrows and challenges of this life. We always remember that because of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection, we are One Church. One Family.

Photo: For the first time in three years, around 300 Christians returned to their church in Bartella, Iraq, to celebrate Easter in the land of their birth.

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 Christ’s resurrection and the promise of eternity with Him gives you hope. For example, is there a special prayer or verse that helps you keep this focus?
  • 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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