Thousands of believers from countries across the Middle East, including Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt, have signed up to receive daily messages from Christians around the world - and you can write to them!
Open Doors has launched a Hope for the Middle East encouragement app. Email us a short message (to email@example.com) - maybe with a picture or a 15 second video - and we will pass it on to persecuted Christians who will be able to access your messages via their phones and tablets.
Already, the app is being well received by Christians in the Middle East. One believer wrote: "May the Lord bless you, I'm very happy with this app. I hope we can encourage each other in reading the gospel. May the Lord repay you for your efforts..." Another said: "Thank you for this valuable devotion. May the Lord bless you and us as well, now and ever and to our last breath."
As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus epidemic, some countries are more affected than others, with the level of suffering depending on a number of factors: the healthcare system, cultural habits, country demographics, and the economy to name a few. Our persecuted brothers and sisters are in need of encouragement now more than ever - and you can help!
In the Middle East, a lot of governments are authoritarian, and countries like Syria and Iraq are at an added disadvantage with weak economies and basic healthcare systems. And even though the declared numbers of affected people are relatively low compared to Europe and the US, the effects of the epidemic are heavy and are expected to get worse rapidly. Syria in particular is still suffering from the devastating impact of the civil war, with an almost non-existent healthcare system. And it bears remembering that some middle eastern countries are not accurately reporting the numbers of affected people in order to avoid panic and to show that the government is still in control.
Even though the effect is felt by the whole of society, vulnerable Christian communities are at a greater disadvantage:
As you think about your message(s) to believers in the Middle East, please pray:
You must email your message to firstname.lastname@example.org only. We cannot pass on hardcopy messages.
If you are struggling to know what to say, you could imagine you are writing to a Christian widow, someone who has lost their job, or a believer who has been displaced - like in the story below.
Two years ago, my family and I fled my home and became refugees when it became too dangerous for us to stay. It was the most difficult thing we've ever had to do.
It's been hard for me to continue my university education in a country that's not my own. I don't feel safe and I'm losing hope in a better future. I'm trying to make sense of what is happening around me, and even though I know that God is there for us, I'm unable to find peace in my heart.
I miss my home and community so much. Every day I pray that we can go back.
Below are some ideas of messages you could send.
Keep the faith brothers and sisters. We fight the good fight. You are loved deeply by the Almighty.
Be strong, brothers and sisters. My husband, David, myself, Anna, and my two daughters, Hannah (aged 9) and Lucy (aged 5) are praying for you. Your faith is an inspiration to us all. We are telling our friends in the church about what you are going through. We are praying for you. God bless!
On behalf of Your family, God, we are praying for the safety of all our persecuted family. We pray for their protection. Lord, let Your love fill them once again specially for those who are about to give up. Lord, let them see the hope again in You, that You are always there for them. Lord, we are lifting our family to You. Guide them protect them, and let Your most precious and holy blood cover them. Amen.
For further guidelines on messages of encouragement (please note that you can only email these messages, not post them) visit our simple letter-writing guidelines page.
If you would like to discover more ways that you can bring hope to the Middle East, visit the Hope for the Middle East campaign webpage.