Connect and Encourage

Spring/Summer 2024

Your letters change lives!

From China to MexicoNicaraguaVietnam and many other countries, people of different religions and minority groups are facing injustice. In some extreme cases, they are being imprisoned, due to their religious beliefs. For someone who is experiencing harassment, violence or imprisonment because of their religion or belief, a letter from you can be a lifeline of hope. 

What is Connect & Encourage? 

At CSW, we run ‘Connect & Encourage’ which is an address book of religious prisoners, their families and individuals who have been targeted because of their religion or belief. These people are located across the world and have asked to receive cards and letters of encouragement. 

Messages of support are hugely inspiring to the person you’re writing to. They also show prison authorities that the world is watching, which has led to prisoners getting better treatment in the past. Your words really can change lives!

Religious prisoners:

Here’s just a handful of prisoners across the world currently being detained simply because they practice a religion. Many of these religious prisoners are serving long sentences, with little contact to the outside world. 

Pastor Lorenzo

Pastor Lorenzo’s visits and communication with his wife Maridilegnis Carballo have been severely limited since he was arrested after joining the historic peaceful 11 July 2021 demonstrations across Cuba. 

 Pastor Lorenzo was sentenced to seven years in prison. On Christmas Eve 2022 he was transferred from Boniato Maximum Security Prison to the minimum-security prison La Caoba. 

Take action: 

Marta Perdomo Benitez

Marta's sons, Jorge and Nadir, were imprisoned for participating in Cuba's 11 July peaceful protests. They were given eight- and six-year prison sentences respectively.

Marta and her husband were asked not to attend their church, where they served as leaders, after the government threatened the pastor. They have tried to attend other churches, but the authorities threatened the leaders of those churches too. 

Pastor Wang Yi

Pastor Wang Yi was detained along with over 100 other members of Early Rain Church on 9 December 2018, in a large-scale crackdown by the authorities. 

He is serving a nine-year prison sentence for ‘inciting to subvert state power’ and ‘illegal business operations’. 

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Cards send to Cuban pastors

‘Today I received all these postcards that some brothers and sisters in the UK sent to cheer us up and let us know they are praying for us and our families. … God has wanted you to make our adversity a spring of joy.’

Pastors Yeremi and Yarian, Cuba 


 What does CSW do?
CSW's team of specialist advocates work in over 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, to ensure that the right to freedom of religion or belief is upheld and protected. 
If the person you’re writing to is a Christian, it’s okay to send them cards and messages that are obviously Christian. However, if you want to be safe, or the person you are writing to has different religious beliefs (we always indicate this), cards with colourful pictures or landscapes on the front are always appreciated.
Even if the person receiving your card can’t read English, receiving a card can still bring them hope and encouragement by reminding them that they are not forgotten. If you can write in the language of the person – even if it is just a phrase or two – please do! They will appreciate your effort.
Although some letters may be intercepted, we do everything we can to ensure that most will reach their destination. N.B. Post to Cuba from the US is currently being returned, so if you are based in the US please do not write to people in Cuba at the moment. Post to Cuba from all other countries is unaffected.
As long as you are happy to receive a reply, including your contact details isn’t a problem. However, you may receive letters requesting financial help. Always contact CSW regarding these requests before you respond to them.
We have only included people in Connect and Encourage if we can verify that receiving messages won’t put them in danger. In some of the countries where we work, sending letters and cards could further endanger the recipients. Instead, please remember these people in your prayers, asking God to grant them strength, protection and comfort.

#2 Our principles

We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs