“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Proverbs 31:8-9

A key part of Barnabas Aid’s work is encouraging and equipping supporters to use their voice to lobby governments and other bodies on important issues facing Christians not just overseas but also in the West. This includes signing petitions and writing letters to their local MP.

Write to Your Representatives

One of the best ways to make change happen is to influence the government, and one of the best ways to do that is by writing to your elected representatives. Many take up issues about persecuted Christians precisely because their constituents ask them.

Here are our top 10 tips for effective communication with your elected representatives:


Pray about which issues to raise and what to say, and then pray that God will use your words.


Only contact your own elected representatives (the federal, state and local legislators for the constituencies they serve).Protocols require that they normally only deal with voters in their own constituencies, so it is wiser not to write to other elected officials unless you have a pre-existing relationship.


State your case briefly and politely. Using numbers or bullet points can make the issues clear and easy to grasp. Remember, members of federal, state and local legislatures and their staffers may have thousands of other letters and emails to deal with that week.


Leave partisan politics out of communications about persecuted Christians. If you want to write to your elected officials about partisan political topics, send a separate letter.


Remember that your elected officials are fallible human beings – just like you! They could be working incredibly long hours, separated from their family for most of the week. Elected officials at all levels suffer huge amounts of criticism and hostility. Our American political culture questions the motives of all politicians, treating them with cynicism and suspicion. This is very unhelpful, and Christians should make sure that their communication instead reflects the values of the Kingdom of God. A good test is to read your correspondence back and think how you would react if you received a similar letter.


Even if your elected officials disagree with you, still be courteous. They and their staffers can very easily develop negative views of Christians because of the tone of many correspondences they get.


Say thank you if a representative takes up the issues on the floor or speaks to the media. Sometimes when Barnabas Aid has sent a “thank you” email to elected officials, they have responded by thanking us for thanking them – which shows how few people bother to thank politicians.


Build a positive relationship with your representatives. If a representative is at an event in his or her constituency, go and speak to them, perhaps thanking them for their hard work.


Elected officials are generally open to invitations to attend question-and-answer sessions at a local church. Take care around election times to be even-handed and invite all known declared candidates.


If you are involved in politics yourself, other elected officials will generally take more notice. If you are a federal, state or local official, other elected officials are more likely to respond personally when you contact them, even if you are a member of a different party.