International mail service is resuming to many countries following COVID-related interruptions. Persecution ministry Voice of the Martyrs Korea today urged Christians to send letters of encouragement this month to 13 believers currently imprisoned for their faith in China, Eritrea, Iran, Russia, and North Korea.
“In Hebrews 13:3, we are commanded to remember those who are imprisoned because of their faithful witness to the Lord Jesus,” says Representative Foley. “We may not be able to visit them in the foreign prisons where they are held, but now with international mail service returning to normal, we can certainly write them a letter letting them know we are praying for them and that we did not forget about them during COVID.”
Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley says that the organization’s goal is to ensure that each of the 13 prisoners of faith receives a minimum of 100 letters of encouragement in the coming year.
Voice of the Martyrs Korea is operating a “Prisoners of Faith” campaign website at https://vomkorea.com/en/prisoner-profiles/. The campaign website contains a profile of each prisoner, along with instructions for letter writing, downloadable phrases and scriptures in the prisoner’s language, and the prison mailing address. Among the 13 prisoners are Chinese Pastors Wang Yi and John Cao, several pastors and church leaders from Eritrea, a Russian believer sentenced to two years in prison for alleged acts against police who were demolishing his church building, and Korean Chinese Deacon Jang Moon Seok, who is currently serving a 15– year sentence in North Korea for his ministry to North Koreans visiting Changbai, China. The site also contains updates on four prisoners who have been part of the organization’s letter writing campaign who have now been released.
“In some of these countries, international mail service was temporarily halted due to COVID,” says Representative Foley. “But now the mail is moving again, and we have been able to send letters to all the prisoners listed.”
Mr. Kim, the first prisoner of faith highlighted by Voice of the Martyrs Korea, received letters every two months from around the world while imprisoned in China awaiting repatriation to North Korea.
Representative Foley says that Christian prisoners and former prisoners regularly cite receiving letters from around the world as one of their greatest sources of encouragement while imprisoned. She cites Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s first “prisoner alert” letter writing campaign in 2002, for a North Korean defector imprisoned in China who was threatened with repatriation to North Korea. Early in his imprisonment, that prisoner, identified for safety as “Mr. Kim”, started receiving letters from concerned Christians from around the world every two months, due to Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s “prisoner alert” campaign. “Mr. Kim said the letters gave him encouragement and a sense of fellowship with the global church during his 10 year-sentence,” says Representative Foley. “Miraculously, he was not sent back to North Korea. We believe the constant stream of letters is one of the main reasons why, because it showed Chinese officials that Christians around the world were paying close attention to the treatment of Mr. Kim.”