American Family Association and Engage Magazine Embark on ‘Orange Letter’ Campaign to Encourage Christians in North Korea
Third Annual Campaign Will Lift Up Persecuted Believers in Christ
TUPELO, Miss.—Last Sunday and this Sunday (Nov. 5 and 12) are the International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, but the hardship will not end once these days pass.
For this reason, and for the third consecutive year, the American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) and its Engage Magazine division are embarking again on the Orange Letter Campaign to encourage Christians who are not free to live out their faith in Christ.
AFA’s Orange Letter Campaign began when Engage Magazine’s Teddy James interviewed Tom Doyle of e3Partners, about his book, “Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe.” At the time, they discussed the tragic news about ISIS members martyring 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were wearing orange jumpsuits.
The two talked about what an uplifting experience it would be—for the givers and receivers—if thousands of Americans wrote letters to the widows and children of these martyrs to encourage them and let them know other Christians were praying.
That conversation was the birth of the first Orange Letter Campaign. The color signified standing in solidarity with modern-day martyrs. In 2015, more than 2,000 supporters of Engage, American Family Association and e3Partners wrote notes of prayer, encouragement and support to fellow believers in Egypt whose names they did not even know.
“It was an incredible experience,” James wrote.
Last year, the focus shifted to Syria and Christians enduring the war within its borders. The war among three factions, none friendly to Christians, has led to countless incidents of persecution, abuse and martyrdom. Letter writers for the 2016 Orange Letter Campaign sent notes to a small church in America filled with people fluent in the Syrian language. The letters were translated and hand-delivered to pastors in Syria, who in turn, smuggled them into Syria and distributed them among their flocks.
“This year, the focus is again shifting,” said James of the 2017 campaign. “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. This year, we are going to North Korea.
“Each Orange Letter Campaign is a defining moment for Engage and AFA,” James added. “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 many more stories being told than the ones we hear, see, and read regularly.”
The 2017 Orange Letter Campaign to North Korea will continue until Nov. 11. Through Saturday, Engage and AFA will share information about North Korea, the underground church, and how letter writers can encourage Christians under the dictatorial rule of Kim Jong Un. Engage will also post daily on its Facebook page prayers, stories from people who have escaped North Korea, and ways to continue helping brothers and sisters in Christ after the Orange Letter Campaign is complete.
“Americans have heard the many stories coming out of North Korea,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “The dictator, Kim Jong Un, has fired several missiles and threatened America’s territories and allies. In addition, people who escape from North Korea tell of indescribable human rights violations. People are treated as less than animals, and Christians suffer even worse fates. But in the midst of so much evil pouring out of North Korea, we have an opportunity to deliver the Good News into the Hermit Kingdom.
“At its heart, the Orange Letter Campaign is about more than sending letters,” Wildmon added. “It is about covering a specific group of Christians in prayer. We need to be in constant prayer for all Christians enduring persecution for the faith, but we spend one week to learn about them and focus on one area. This helps broaden our worldview and strengthen the Church globally. Specifically, we look to Hebrews 13:3: ‘Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.’”