Send messages of hope to Iraq and Syria

“For to us a child is born … and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Is. 9:6).

This month, encourage our brothers and sisters in the Middle East by sharing messages of hope and love during Advent.

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 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. And both countries are recovering from hunger crises created by COVID-19 lockdowns.  

Current theme: Christmas

Christmas is a time where we celebrate hope and love with our friends and family. Our family in Iraq and Syria are doing the same while also walking through hardships, often daily. In both countries, basic necessities such as uninterrupted electricity, safety and housing can be unstable. COVID-19 has proved to be a difficult challenge as the health systems in the countries are broken. Thankfully, even in the midst of these challenging circumstances, there is much to be thankful for as we celebrate our hope in Jesus.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet. ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God is with us”)’” (Matthew 1:22-23).

Please take a moment to wish your brothers and sisters on the other side of the globe love and hope this Christmas season as we remember that we are One Church. One Family.

Photo: 10-year-old Lydia shares her Christmas wish: “We want to live in peace and security like other children in the world.”

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) trials and find contentment. For example, is there a special prayer or verse that brings you hope during Advent?
  • 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: