Slavery is thriving in the world today.
Many people balk at such a statement, as most believe that slavery was eradicated in the 19th century. But inn fact, while slavery has never completely gone away, there has been a massive resurgence in our time.
The slavery of the past that we are most familiar with was state-sanctioned; the current slave trade involves powerful organized crime syndicates and local thugs. The trafficking and exploitation of people is the third largest criminal activity in the world today.
According to US State Department figures, 27 million people find themselves entrapped in slavery, 80 percent are female, 50 percent are children. Secretary of State Colin Powell stated, “We’re talking about woman and girls, as young as six years old, trafficked into commercial . . . exploitation.”
Behind all these facts and statistics are real individuals with names, stories, and deep hurts. They are the powerless and the voiceless, trapped in an unspeakably cruel nightmare.
They are loved by God, people for whom Jesus shed His blood. Each one of them matters to God, but do they matter to us?
The trafficking and exploitation of people, particularly children, is not something that we normally like to think about or discuss. The very thought is vile and repulsive.
Yet, we must face it squarely, as burying our heads in the sand is not a good option. In fact, to do so would be immoral.
As Christ-followers, we have an obligation to care and to act.
I firmly believe that it is possible to see this “global Goliath” of exploitation and slavery stamped out in our lifetime, but it will require the determination of a new abolitionist movement. “He has shown you, oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
It is impossible to deal fully with a complex and important issue such as this in a brief article. But I am hoping that I have at least caught your attention and interest concerning a very important topic.
For a more in-depth treatment of the matter, as well as action steps that you can take, please go to www.openarmshl.org and scroll down to the Lets Talk! link on the home page.