What is in a Letter?

I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may letters be given to me for the governors west of the Euphrates, so that they will grant me safe passage until I reach Judah. And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house I will occupy.” And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests. Then I went to the governors west of the Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters.

How can we appeal to kings and those in power in our day and age?

Even in the days of Nehemiah, letters were able to open doors and opportunities that had been closed for a long time. The simple act of words on paper from a person of authority to the right person allowed Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Drafting the letter was the first step, but in addition to appealing to the king, Nehemiah had, “the gracious hand” of the Lord upon him – and, “the king granted [Nehemiah’s] requests.”

Jubilee Campaign has sent out several letters and are working on many more, all appealing to the kings/rulers of our time for favour for those who are persecuted. Calling for the release of Shafqat and Shagufta in Pakistan, calling for the rights of Christians in Nepal, calling for China to cease persecuting religious minorities, calling for South Korea to not send back North Koreans who seek asylum, as they did with two fishermen last fall; releasing prisoners of conscience in Eritrea. What impact do they have?

Sometimes we appeal to the king to send out the letter, other times we send out the letter working to amplify the voices of those persecuted within the country. God has answered many of those pleas with the release of Pastor Nerren in India and the those arrested on false charges in Youhanabad Pakistan. Sometimes it can take time, Boko Haram still keeps Leah Sharibu captive in Nigeria.

Recently we sent out a letter to the World Bank to cease from giving money to Eritrea as they have shown widespread corruption and do not give the money to their citizens and a letter to the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect raising the growing crisis for Nigerian Christians. While we cannot follow the trajectory of these letters or know for sure what boosts the action, we pray that they will fall into the right hands, to a leader who will act on it.

“Why are you looking so sad”? – was the question the king asked Nehemiah. To make a difference in the lives of people around us we need to be attentive. Maybe you are the King or you are Nehemiah. Let us not miss the opportunity to share what burdens us with the king- and let us not miss the opportunity to do something with the position we have; the US has a large influence on the international stage – and raising the voices of the persecuted is one way we can do that.

If you would like, take the time to pray over the letters that have gone out, you can do that here: LETTERS

If you would like to support our work to raise the plight of religious minorities. You can do so here: