Your Guide for Communicating With Missionaries in Closed Countries

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Writing to your missionary and sending them mail is a great way to encourage them, but some missionaries serve in countries where Christians are persecuted or where sharing the gospel is cause for arrest. Governments monitor letters, packages, emails, social media, websites, and blogs; one word could jeopardize your missionary’s safety and ministry.

But don’t let security concerns dissuade you from writing to your missionary—their work is challenging, and God can use your words to encourage them. Follow these guidelines to help keep your missionary and the people they work with safe. These guidelines should be followed for phone calls, letters, emails, blogs, packages, and comments on social media.

  • Check with your missionary on how to best communicate with him or her. Ask if he or she has any specific guidelines for the country where they serve.
  • Don’t mention missions, missionary, ministry, evangelism, witnessing, giving out Bibles, outreach, gospel, Jesus, the host country’s religion, the name of a church in the country where they serve, etc.
  • Limit your use of Christian language. It’s OK to talk about your own spiritual life and quote Scripture, but in moderation.
  • Don’t criticize the government of the host country or its policies.
  • Don’t mention the names of other missionaries in the host country or identify people who might be interested in Christianity.
  • Don’t mail letters or packages with church labels.
  • Don’t send missionary prayer letters, church bulletins, Bibles, or any other ministry-related material.
  • Don’t post emails, letters, or comments from your missionary online, and don’t forward them without their permission.
  • Ask for your missionary’s permission before sharing his or her mailing or email addresses with anyone. Make sure anyone who receives your missionary’s contact information understands these communication guidelines too.
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