Faith and Policy Statements

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Release International Statements

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Release International: Privacy Statement

Who We Are
Release International is a Christian ministry that helps you engage with your persecuted brothers and sisters by praying with them, by responding to their practical needs and by learning lessons of true Christian discipleship with them.

Our Mission
Helping Christians in the UK and Ireland actively engage with their persecuted brothers and sisters to pray with them, stand with them and learn lessons of true Christian discipleship with them.

Our Vision
 To see a world in which the whole Body of Christ understands persecution and responds prayerfully, pastorally and practically every time a Christian is persecuted.

Our Charity Status
We are a registered charity in the UK, and also in Scotland. We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator and the Information Commissioner’s Office. We are regulated by the Charity Commission in the UK and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in Scotland.

You can contact us at any time:

Release International
PO Box 54

Email: Telephone: 01689 823491


Our Chair of Trustees is Mr David Armond and our CEO is Mr Paul Robinson.

Our Data Controller lead is Mrs Laura Hayes, Director of Engagement UK and Ireland. You can contact her on or by post/telephone as outlined above. If you have any questions about how we process your data or you would like to make a complaint, please contact Laura.

Why We Process Personal Data
Release International is committed to complying with the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 and the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. The new DPA 2018 became law from 25 May 2018 at the same time as the GDPR. The DPA 1998 has been repealed (cancelled in law) and is replaced by the DPA 2018. We are committed to follow best practice and process ‘personal data’ and/or ‘special categories of personal data’ as defined in the legislation appropriately.

Release International is the ‘Data Controller’ for all personal data and special categories of personal data held by Release International; and as defined in law.

Part of the compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 is the ‘Notification’ (Registration) of the purposes for which we process data with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The Notification is available on the ICO website,, registration number Z5869621.

We process personal data, such as name, surname, address and other contact information, to fulfil our Christian mission and charitable objects, as agreed in our Strategic Plan. This includes, but is not limited to, communicating with you to share our ministry, raise funds, invite you to events and to inform you about other engagement activity.

We hold personal data on staff, volunteers, Trustees, supporters, donors, friends, charitable organisations, church organisations, suppliers and other statutory bodies. We also hold personal data on persecuted Christians and our overseas partners.

‘Special categories of personal data’ are shared with your knowledge and consent; and/or to prevent harm. Special categories of personal data includes: race, ethnic origin, politics, religion, trade union membership, genetics, biometrics (including fingerprint or iris recognition), health, sex life or sexual orientation.

We process personal data including special categories of personal data, under the following lawful conditions for processing.

  • Consent – we always ask for your consent and you can withdraw consent;
  • Legitimate Interest – we will rely upon legitimate interest where we source personal data from Christian organisations and information already in the public domain;
  • Contract – necessary for the performance of contract, for example staff and suppliers;
  • Vital Interest – to prevent harm.

We do not share your personal data with any third parties without your express written permission, unless we are under a legal obligation to do so. For example, we share data with our mailing house, outsourced payroll and church partners.

Use of ‘Cookies’
We utilise ‘cookies’ (electronic markers to identify you) on the Release International website as part of using Google Analytics web browsing software, for our online e-store and security of the members’ area, to ensure that we provide the most user-friendly website possible. Our social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn, may also use our website to put cookies onto your system – we cannot accept responsibility for any usage of these cookies. You can opt out of using cookies, although this will limit your usage of our website.

Our Lawful Basis for Processing 

Consent Our current supporters have given their formal written consent to lawfully process their data. From 25 May 2018, we will process any new supporters’ personal data based on the consent you have given us. We use a range of communications to stay in contact with you and you can opt out at any time.

Based on the consent you have given us, you will receive post, email and/or telephone calls from us. We will contact you if you have made a donation or updated us with new information. This will help us send you the right communications for your needs. If you have previously asked us not to contact you, we will continue to respect your wishes.

Legitimate Interest for Potential Supporters We may rely on legitimate interest:

  • Where we source data from Christian organisations;
  • If you publicly share information about your interests and concerns that overlap with an area or activity of Release International’s work;
  • If we identify you as a match to our work during our research to locate new supporters, through our use of publicly available information.

We will use any information we gather to help us plan an appropriate approach to you, such as a meeting or an event invitation, where we will share further information about Release International; and explore your interest and opportunities for support. You can opt out at any time.

Contract Where we employ staff, engage consultants or work with external suppliers to provide goods and services, we hold data on those individuals to fulfil our contractual obligations under law.

Vital Interest We may process your personal data in the event of a life threatening incident.

Retention Periods
We will hold personal data for as long as is necessary under our obligations under UK law. For donors, volunteers and supporters, where we have no legal obligation to hold your data, we will hold your personal data no longer than 8 years.

Your Rights 

Right to be Informed You have the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data. We will provide you with ‘privacy information’ including:

  • Our purposes for processing your personal data;
  • Our retention periods for holding your personal data;
  • Who we will share your personal data

Release International will be setting up a web-based Consent Portal, to give you easy access to your data consent settings which can be changed at any time. We will send you information on how to access the Consent Portal when it goes live.

Right of Access You have the right to access your personal data and supplementary information. This allows you to be aware of and verify the lawfulness of processing. Release International will provide you with access to your data within one month of the request being received by us. We may ask you to provide ID to verify who you are.

Requesting Information If you wish to request a copy of your personal data or special categories of personal data that we may hold on you, please make such a request in writing. Email is acceptable. This request should be directed to the Data Controller lead via Release International. Please contact Mrs Laura Hayes, Director of Engagement UK and Ireland by post or telephone as outlined above, or by email to:

Right to Rectification You have the right to have inaccurate personal data rectified or completed if it is incomplete. Release will provide you with confirmation that your data has been rectified within one month of the request being received by us. We may ask you to provide ID to verify who you are.

Right to Erasure You may have the right to have your personal data erased. This is the ‘right to be forgotten’.

You do not have the right to have your data erased if the processing of the data is necessary to Release International to comply with a legal obligation.

Release will erase your data where appropriate within one month of the request being received by us. We may ask you to provide ID to verify who you are.

Right to Restrict Processing You have the right to withdraw consent at any time. You may have the right to request the restriction of your personal data.

You can do this, if you are currently challenging the accuracy of your data or you have asked for your data to be rectified. You can also do this if you object to your data being processed and request this restriction while the matter is under investigation.

We will respond to a request to restrict processing within one month of the request being received by us. We may ask you to provide ID to verify who you are.

Right to Data Portability The right to data portability allows you to obtain and reuse your personal data for your own purposes across different services. You have the right to have your data transferred to you, or to a named organisation. We may ask you to provide ID to verify who you are.

Right to Object You have the right to object to processing of your personal data for direct marketing (by post, email or telephone) at any time. If you have a complaint, you have the right to complain to the ICO at any time.

Rights Related to Automated Decision-making including Profiling Release International can only use automated decision-making with your explicit consent, unless this type of decision-making is necessary for the entry into or performance of a contract.

We do not carry out profiling of supporters, volunteers or donors. You have the right to withdraw consent at any time.

Supporters’ Complaints Procedure
Release International has a formal Supporters’ Complaints Procedure which includes the right to make a complaint to UK regulatory authorities. You can contact the Fundraising Regulator, The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, The Information Commissioner’s Office and the Charity Commission for further details.

Our Supporters’ Complaints Procedure is published online here.

Sharing of Personal Data
Release International will sometimes work with partner organisations in the pursuit of our Christian ministry. We either have your consent to share personal data, or if we use legitimate interest, we will contact you to let you know. Where we have shared or plan to share personal data with external Christian organisations, we will contact you before we do that.

We occasionally share data with our international partners. We will always seek your consent to do this. We always endeavour to ensure that all personal data shared is kept secure.

Data Security
All personal data and special categories of personal data are processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security. Our paper-based systems, filing systems, IT systems, servers, Cloud storage, database, laptops and mobile phones are properly secured.

Our HQ premises are properly maintained, secure and alarmed. All home-based IT is properly secured, and password protected.

We ensure that we have Third Party Data Processing Agreements (contract), or letters or emails of agreement, with all our third-party suppliers and data processors.

All personal data and special categories of personal data are transmitted using high secure data transfer protocols including password protection.

We have an Information Security Policy which can be accessed here.

Data Breach Notification
In the unlikely event of a serious data breach taking place, Release International will inform you and ICO within 72 hours after becoming aware of it. A serious data breach means a breach of security leading to the destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored, or otherwise processed.

Laura Hayes   June 2018
Review:           March 2020
Review:           March 2022

You can download a pdf version of this Privacy Statement here.


We subscribe to the Evangelical Alliance statement of faith, which can be found here.


Release International is committed to providing a working environment, wherever the location, where everyone has dignity at work and is free from harassment of any kind. The attitudes, motivation and relationships of staff and the way the Ministry achieves its Calling and Mission is as important as the Ministry itself. As a Christian Ministry, and as a result of our shared beliefs and Christian Values, it is expected that all staff will treat one another, and others they engage with, especially within the course of their work, with grace, respect, courtesy, politeness and forgiveness; that all staff will demonstrate honesty and co-operation in all interactions, timekeeping and work practice; and that all staff will show respect for authority and for each other as we work together.

Release International is committed to providing a safe and caring environment for children, young people, and adults at risk, to protect from abuse and harm and to promote well-being, as far as it is in within our abilities to do so in the course of our work, wherever the location. We commit to uphold good practice in Safeguarding, with our Christian beliefs and Values as a minimum standard, wherever the location or culture, and to fulfil UK legislative requirements, working in partnership with Statutory Authorities and Voluntary Agencies as required. We have shared Christian beliefs and Values with our International Partners and an agreed expectation that they will work within the legislative framework of their country. Please contact the Release International office if you would like to see a copy of our Safeguarding Policy.


‘But I tell you who hear me; love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.’ (From the teachings of Jesus Christ, Luke Chapter 6 verses 27-28.)

The values and practices of Release International, their staff, volunteers and partners around the world are informed by the teachings of Jesus Christ and the inspired teachings and writings contained within the Holy Bible. Therefore, though the focus of our Ministry is solely for those being persecuted for Jesus Christ, we are opposed to religious intolerance and religious hatred, and support freedom of religion for all people of all faiths, including the right to change one’s religion.

Our determined focus among those being persecuted for Christ is primarily because we want to remain obedient to our heavenly Calling (Acts 26:19).

The persecution of Christians is a global catastrophe; Christians in the early 21st century are the world’s most persecuted people [i]. According to the secular International Society for Human Rights, eighty percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are against Christians [ii]. Persecution is occurring on such a vast scale that it represents the most dramatic Christian story of our time [iii].

Hundreds of millions of Christians [iv] face discrimination, harassment, oppression, violence, imprisonment, torture, and even death. As part of the one body of Christ they are our brothers and sisters and it is to those Release International has been called, a Calling which we state in simple terms:

We have been called by God, through the ministry of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand and Hebrews 13:3 to Love and Serve Persecuted Christians.

Since 1968, by the grace of God, Release International has continued to fulfill that Calling, and the resources God has released to that end have come through the sacrificial giving of Bible believing Christians within the body of Christ who are concerned about those who so often pay a great price for following Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are morally, spiritually, and organisationally bound to ensure those resources are only used to serve those for who they have been given – persecuted Christians.

There are some Christian organisations in the UK and Ireland whose resources are devoted to Freedom of Religion for All; we welcome their work and, even though the work of our Ministry is entirely focussed on those being persecuted for Christ, we do affirm the spirit and contents of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but noting that in many countries, the freedom to change religion or belief is often denied to those who choose to convert from another religion to follow Christ.

Article 18 UDHR: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance”.

We seek to tell only the truth about persecution of Christians around the world and will only publish information received from, and authenticated by, partners who are fully trusted, or from respected media sources. We work only to see justice served and the rights of individuals protected. We do not wish to inflame situations or malign other beliefs, and references to conversions to Christianity are intended as a testimony to the transforming power of Jesus Christ working in the individual lives and circumstances and not to provoke derision or criticism of other faiths, religious cultures, and belief systems.

The abuse and persecution of Christians around the world is an escalating trend and may cause shock, dismay or even anger to other Christians. It is important that these incidents are investigated, reported, and acted upon.

However, it is never our intention to incite hatred or adverse reaction. The teachings of Jesus Christ are clear and unambiguous, requiring that every individual seeking to practise the Christian faith is called to ‘love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’. (Luke Chapter 6 verses 27-28.)

In keeping with the teachings of Jesus Christ, we honour those who today live in challenging environments but choose the path of obedience, faith, and trust, regardless of the consequences. We are instructed by the teachings of Jesus Christ to love our neighbour be they Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Muslim or those of any other faith or belief system and witness to them by our example, and out of genuine concern for them.

If you are reading this page and you belong to another religion or no religion, we want you to know that our prayer for you is that you may one day know the peace and joy in your life that comes through salvation in Jesus Christ.

[i] Philpott D., Why Christians Deserve Attention, in Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians, 2019 p.16

[ii] Lessenthin. M., in Allen J.R., The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution, 2016 p.33

[iii] Allen J.R., The War on Christians, Spectator Magazine, Oct 2013

[iv] Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians, 2019 p.16


We require written and/or verbal consent from supporters, volunteers, stakeholders and partners/beneficiaries, for all content, photographs, video and audio files which contain personal data, and which are published in the public domain. Please see our Consent for Use of Personal Data in Media Policy for full details.


As part of our compliance with the Fundraising Regulator we have produced a Release International Fundraising Policy.  A pdf version of this policy is available here.

We also have a Fundraising with People in Vulnerable Circumstances Policy. A pdf of this policy is available here.