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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.
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.
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:
PO Box 54
Telephone: 01689 823491
Our Chair of Trustees is Mr Robert Ashurst 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 email@example.com 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 1998, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 and will comply with the new Data Protection Act 2018 when it enters into British law at the end of 2018. We are committed to following 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 1998 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, www.ico.org.uk, 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 event 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.
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 7 years.
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 with.
Release International will be setting up a web-based Consent Portal in June 2018, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 to 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 always ensure that the personal data shared is kept secure.
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 will ensure that we have data privacy agreements 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 personal data breach taking place, Release International will inform you and ICO within 72 hours after becoming aware of it. A personal 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 May 2018
Review May 2020
A pdf version of this Privacy Statement is available here.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
We subscribe to the Evangelical Alliance statement of faith, which can be found here.
SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
Release recognises the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and vulnerable adults, as far as it is in within our abilities to do so in the course of our work. We concur with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children should be able to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. They have a right to be protected from ‘all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child.’ Therefore, Release has adopted the procedures set out in its Safeguarding Policy in accordance with statutory guidance. We are committed to work with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding. Please contact the Release 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 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.
We affirm the spirit and contents of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
“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’.
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.
PHOTOGRAPHY / VIDEO
Photography – please note that photographs or DVDs may be taken or recorded at any events organised by Release International, including Release Potential, Release Women and Prisoners of Faith, and may be used in publicity materials or on our websites.