Today and everyday, our church is called to stand up against the exploitation of God’s creation. The 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) stated “The church stands against human trafficking and forced labor based upon its conviction that each person bears the image of God, or Imago Dei, and that work is both a necessity and a calling: “the laborer deserves to be paid.” (1 Tim. 5:18). We may understand the image of God as the capacity for personal, covenantal relationship that gives all humans individual worth and responsibility to help redeem creation. The prophetic vision in Isaiah 65 presents a harmony of humanity within nature and without violence; Jesus’ message of the kingdom or reign of God calls into question every structure that excludes or dominates others. We do not deny the degree of complicity that all of us share in the market system, but insist that human beings should never be treated as commodities. “
A delegation from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) visited Thailand to look at human trafficking in a context different to the ones we understand here in the United States. Our delegation met with representatives of church organizations, civil society, and governments. We met with those working to stop trafficking before it starts and those responding to persons who have been trafficked. The following are reflections from our delegation. We invite you to join us in devotion to God and prayer that human trafficking will become a sin of the past.
Prayer: God, we pray that every person who has been created in your likeness may live here on earth with dignity and respect. We pray for the unjust systems to be broken and that all may be free.
Mr. Ryan Smith, Director and Representative to the United Nations
Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)