Churches unite to end human trafficking
On Sunday 19th October 2014, churches all over the world will join together to raise awareness of the terrible injustice of human trafficking; witness to the world of our love for our neighbours and compassion for men, women and children who are trafficked and exploited. Rob Floyd, National Director UnitingWorld says,
Human trafficking denies the inherent worth and dignity of all women, men, girls and boys who are created in God’s image.
As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to pray, to speak out against human trafficking and modern slavery, and to live in ways that help create change in the lives of those impacted by this tragic crime. I encourage all Christians to pray for an end to human trafficking.
Human Trafficking is the world’s fastest growing global crime and is one of the largest sources of income for organised crime. It is closer to home than we think, tt even happens in Australia in a number of industries, including the sex and beauty industry, construction, agriculture, hospitality and through forced marriage. It is present in the making of products we purchase and food we eat. The Australian Federal Police has an entire unit dedicated to investigating reported cases. The profits are high and the risks are low. It’s a system based on greed, control and power against other human beings. It’s a global market place where people are the product and everyone has a price tag. This crime is based on an international conveyor belt of transactions and exchange, with sophisticated trade routes and communications. This human product creates profit, tens of billions every year and it is growing at a catastrophic rate. Those trafficked are mostly invisible, always powerless and always degraded.
God calls us to respond to this injustice. An injustice, which robs millions of men, women and children – each made in the image of God – of their freedom, integrity and dignity. Our faith in a God of justice compels us to act. In doing so, together we become the practical demonstration of God’s love to those who are enslaved and exploited and of God’s Kingdom.
In the preface to the Freedom Sunday Tool Kit for Churches, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury says:
Human trafficking is a grave crime against humanity. It is a form of modern day slavery and a profound violation of the intrinsic dignity of human beings. It is intolerable that millions of fellow human beings should be violated in this way, subjected to inhuman exploitation and deprived of their dignity and rights. This outrage should concern each one of us, because what affects one part of humanity affects us all. Virtually every part of this world is touched in some way by the cruelty and violence associated with this criminal activity. If we are to combat this evil then we must work together to prevent the crime, support the survivors and prosecute the criminals. The knowledge that churches have of their local communities puts them on the frontline in this campaign.
So what is Freedom Sunday?
Freedom Sunday was started in the USA by Not For Sale, later in Australia Not For Sale partnered with STOP THE TRAFFIK to invite Australian churches to join together in prayer for freedom. Around the world many church denominations and organisations have been setting aside a specific day in the year to pray about the issue of human trafficking. In 2014 through Freedom Sunday churches around the world are coming together in this global day of worship, prayer and action to stop human trafficking. A resource pack is available at www.stopthetraffik.org/campaign/freedomsunday, containing a selection of worship materials from different cultures and denominations. These resources have been designed to support churches to learn more about human trafficking and explore the active role the church can play in tackling this injustice.
God’s call is to continue the mission of Jesus, liberating, restoring, renewing and healing. God’s Kingdom has come and is yet to fully come. As we join together as the body of Christ, we witness to an often hurting world that longs for peace of heart, mind and spirit. The capacity we have together is more than we can ever dream of, or hope for. The key is in our hands to undo the chains of slavery to help lead the way by actioning the will of God, the example of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Fuzz Kitto, Coordinator STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia)
Every instance of trafficking involves a person being trafficked from a community to a community. Churches, with their community networks, are incredibly well placed to raise awareness and prevent trafficking in their communities and in the goods they purchase. Together we can make communities safer places where it is harder for traffickers to operate and hide themselves, their victims and the goods that they profit from.
Join Freedom Sunday
Visit www.stopthetraffik.org/campaign/freedomsunday to download the Tool Kit which contains a wide selection of resources to get your church involved in a significant act of God’s Kingdom come on earth as in heaven.
Together, let’s stop human trafficking and let’s start freedom.
For further information please contact STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia Coordinators Fuzz Kitto 0407 931 115 or Carolyn Kitto 0438 040 959 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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