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Appeal – Prisoners of Faith

Dong Zhao and his family spent 195 days on the road, travelled over 18,890 miles and crossed 11 countries before they got to safety.

Will you help another prisoner of faith like him to rebuild their lives by giving £30 to Release International today?

Would you be willing to put up with beatings, torture, even imprisonment for following Jesus? How far would you travel to reach a place of safety?

For you and I living in the UK, these are hypothetical questions right now but for thousands of our persecuted sisters and brothers like Dong Zhao in China these are hard pressing questions they are faced with every day.

This is what our partners at ChinaAid told us about Dong Zhao and his journey to freedom:

‘Dong Zhao and his family fled China on September 26, 2021, and travelled through 11 countries before they arrived in the United States.

We had a narrow escape from huge waves of the ocean” he said. “We walked through deep forests. We canoed on rivers full of alligators and saw the bodies of many dead people. In Mexico, all our possessions were stolen. To get to the United States we spent 195 days on the road and travelled over 18,890 miles.”’

The reason why Dong and his family had to flee their home was the severe persecution they experienced for more than eight years. The Chinese government and the local police did everything they could to force Dong and his family to forsake their faith.

Our partners are telling us that more believers like Dong Zhao in China, and in other countries like Pakistan, Iran and Eritrea are being attacked, beaten and thrown in prison simply because they follow Jesus.

By sending a gift of £30 or more you can provide legal aid for prisoners of faith, safe houses, food and shelter for prisoners’ families. Also, you can support Christian workers to continue to serve the church when pastors are imprisoned.

Will you become an agent of God’s love easing the suffering of those who are imprisoned for their faith by giving to Release International today?

The life and faith journeys of believers like Dong Zhao are never easy – but, with your prayers and support they can overcome the challenges they face.

Dong Zhao became a Christian at an early age, following on the footsteps of his father who was a preacher. Then, one day in November 2014, he was leading a Bible study in his home when the police rushed in and interrupted them. They beat him for more than ten minutes.

A month later, just before Christmas, he was sharing the Gospel on the street when some police officers took him by force to the local station. After the interrogation, they tortured him and kept him in prison for seven days.

But this wasn’t the end of his suffering.

Dong Zhao and his family fled to Zhengzhou City where they started a breakfast café. But the local police always monitored their movements and harassed them because he was hosting church services at his café.

During a Sunday service in September 2020, officers from Dongfeng Road police station broke into the café and beat Dong Zhao again. They even stabbed his right thumb with a bayonet.

A few months later in 2021 the police prohibited anyone from entering Dong Zhao’s café. They closed their social media accounts and banned Dong’s children from going to school. The family had no income and struggled to survive.

Dong Zhao’s story is just one example of the suffering experienced by many Christians in China, Iran, Pakistan, and Eritrea today.


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Featured Image

Dong Zhao and his family in the USA


Will you send a gift of £30, £50, or even £100 today to help a prisoner of faith like Dong and his family to stand strong amidst persecution?

Through your generosity you could provide:

  • Legal aid, food, medical assistance, and pastoral support for prisoners of faith.
  • Food, shelter, medical care, and practical assistance for families of prisoners of faith enabling them to survive whilst their loved ones are detained.
  • Finances for local Christian workers who are discipling believers whose pastors have been imprisoned, who are distributing funds to persecuted families and are gathering testimony of persecution in their regions.



You can make a gift securely
online by clicking the 'Donate Now!' button.



In Galatians 6:2 the apostle Paul tells us to Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.” Thank you for loving those who are suffering for their faith and for caring for them and their families.

God Bless you,

Paul Robinson
CEO, Release International


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A Prayer for Christians in Prison For Their Faith and Their Families

Lord, we pray for all those Christians who are held in prisons in so many countries around the world simply because they love You.

Father, we cry out against the injustice of their incarceration, held away from their families and, in so many cases, in appalling conditions.

We remember all the prisoners of faith in Pakistan, in North Korea, in Eritrea, in China, in Algeria, in Laos, in Iran – Lord, in so many countries – be with them all. Give them Your peace which passes understanding, restore and fortify their spirits. Use them as beacons of light in the dark places they find themselves so that they and others will come to learn more about You.

Thank you for being with them as they endure solitude and the constant threat of harm to their minds and bodies.

We also pray for their families. Families who face so many hardships even though they are not in prison. Lord, we ask that you will continue to provide for them, that they will receive all that they need to survive and to resist the curses and hatred which surrounds them. Unite these families, Father, in their love of You and help us to remember them in our prayers.

Father, help us to keep all prisoners of faith and their families in our thoughts and prayers. Build us up, as well, to be able to speak of Your presence in our lives, without worrying what other people think or may do to us.

In Your name, Lord,


If you wish to give by cheque, then please make it payable to Release International and send it to: Release International, PO Box 54, Orpington, BR5 4RT.

Or you can call 01689 823491 to give securely over the phone.

If you have any queries about giving to Release, please contact our Supporter Relations team on: 01689 823491.

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