Editor's note: If you are ready to write your letter to Christians who have experienced persecution in North Korea, click here. If you want to learn a bit about why we started the Orange Letter Campaign, where we have been and why we use orange, read on and watch this video.
I love conversations that start with, “Wouldn’t it be cool if...” Much to my surprise, that exact statement was made while I interviewed Tom Doyle, vice president of e3Partners, about his book Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe. He has recently published a new book titled Standing in the Fire: Courageous Christians Living in Frightening Times and I highly recommend it.
To put his quote into context, we were talking about ISIS releasing a video of their members martyring 21 Coptic Christians in orange jumpsuits.
“I’m going to Egypt in a few months,” Tom told me. “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a way for Engage readers to offer some type of encouragement to the parents, widows, and children of these martyrs?”
That conversation was the birth of Engage’s first Orange Letter Campaign – orange to stand in solidarity with modern-day martyrs.
We decided to collect letters during the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. Even though “Day” is in the title, it is officially the week between the first and second Sunday of November.
Over 2,000 supporters of Engage, American Family Association, and e3Partners wrote notes of prayer, encouragement, and support to fellow believers whose names they did not even know. It was an incredible experience.
Last year, our focus shifted to Syria and Christians enduring the war going on within its borders. If you are not familiar with the war that is still ongoing, three factions are fighting and none are friendly with Christians. This has led to countless incidents of persecution, abuse, and martyrdom.
Supporters of Engage, AFA, and e3 again wrote letters. These were sent to a small church in America filled with people fluent in the Syrian language. They were translated and hand-delivered to pastors in Syria.
These spiritual shepherds snuck outside their war-torn country to meet with our partners for a time of encouragement, edification, and worship. Before they snuck back inside Syria, they were each given the letters. These pastors smuggled the letters back inside their borders and distributed them among their flocks.
Each Orange Letter Campaign is a defining moment for Engage. It strengthens our worldview, deepens our faith, and widens our perspective. In each campaign, we have the opportunity to be reminded that this life we live, this world we live on, this faith we hold dear, is not about us. There are may more stories being told than the ones we hear, see, and read regularly.
This year our focus is again shifting. Where we previously wrote because of violence made public, we are now writing for violence kept from the public view. Where we previously wrote because government weakness allowed unmitigated persecution of Christian, we are now writing where a strong government has a policy of persecuting Christians.
The year we are going to North Korea.
Engage will publish much over the course of our 2017 Orange Letter Campaign about the country, the underground church, and how you can encourage Christians under the dictatorial rule of Kim Jong Un.
The Campaign will officially take place November 5-11. Click here to write and submit your letter.
Once you have sent your message of encouragement, make sure to come back here and visit our Facebook page where we will be posting daily prayers, stories from people who have escaped North Korea, and articles dealing with how you can continue helping these brothers and sisters in Christ after the Orange Letter Campaign is over.
If you want to help us raise awareness of Christian persecution happening in North Korea and across the world, take a picture of yourself in orange and share it to our Facebook page. Let us know how you are praying for these Christians who are enduring trials and tribulation.