Writing to Prisoners
You may select from the various phrases and Scripture verses we have provided. These will be translated in the appropriate language. We also encourage you to write a few simple lines in English. The prisoner or one of his or her cellmates may be able to understand it.
(NOTE: When writing additional lines, please do not state anything negative about their government.)
We also invite you to personalize your letter with a postcard or family photo. Attractive Christian greeting cards are especially cherished.
Christian prisoners are generally not allowed to write letters or cannot afford to mail them. However, it is possible that you will receive a reply from family members, attorneys, or other acquaintances of the prisoner to whom you write. In most cases, VOM does not have direct contact with these people. It is not uncommon for those living in restricted nations to write to people in the West asking for financial assistance or help to leave their country. VOM does not recommend sending money directly to anyone inside a restricted nation.
We DO NOT encourage individuals to send funds directly to those claiming to represent the imprisoned Christians. Through VOM’s Families of Martyrs Fund, we are able to provide assistance to these Christians in an appropriate manner.
For many families in these restricted lands, the cost of a letter back to you may be equal to a day’s wage. Letters sent to Christian prisoners are occasionally returned unopened. Sometimes, authorities refuse to give a prisoner their mail in order to make them feel isolated. In other cases, the prisoner may have been moved to a different camp and their mail is not forwarded. Keep writing. Don’t be discouraged! Your letters are significant. They are a quiet and loving gift to your brothers and sisters. You will rejoice together when we meet in Heaven.
Never mention the name of the source of your information or the name of any organization such as Voice of the Martyrs or Prisoner Alert. It is not dangerous for a prisoner to receive letters from individuals, but if an organization is mentioned they may be accused of links with ‘foreign organizations’ and receive harsher sentences.
Please do not send the letters to The Voice of the Martyrs for mailing. The letters are more effective when the officials see persons have sent them from many different parts of our nation. Your local post office can help you with the required postage.
Occasionally someone else may respond to your letter and request money from you. Please be assured that the program officers from VOM are providing assistance to the families of prisoners. If you receive such a letter you may forward a copy to:PrisonerAlert
The Voice of the Martyrs
PO Box 443
Bartlesville, OK 74005