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A statement on Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Committee says slavery is as insidious today as it was in Biblical times

by the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Friday is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Editor’s note: Friday is Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the United States. It’s a day to raise awareness that human trafficking is modern-day slavery. The statement below is from the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns.

LOUISVILLE — As all humans are created in the Imago Dei, no one should live in physical or spiritual bondage.  Our Lord, Jesus the Christ, taught, “The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers” (Luke 4:18).

Indeed, we believe that God sent Jesus because humanity is God’s beloved children. Jesus became human that humanity might become a bit more divine.  Nonetheless, we have failed to celebrate the divinity in our siblings. We have failed to completely usher in God’s Kindom on Earth. We have failed to abolish slavery, the total subjugation of some people beneath other people.

Indeed, slavery still exists today. Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery that is just as insidious today as it was in Biblical times.  The author of Ecclesiastes, in one of the daily lectionary readings for today, January 11, 2019, writes “I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house” (Ecclesiastes 2:7).  Slavery is written into our history and culture, and it is high time we take a firm theological stance against it; we must then live out that theological stance.

The present-day USA is the source, transit and destination country for modern slaves, among them men, women, and children. The trafficking of women and children is the world’s fastest growing crime; the majority of trafficking victims are women and girls. Sex economies are huge within the United States, worth $39.9 million in Denver to $290 million in Atlanta.

This Epiphany season, we celebrate that Jesus manifests himself as God. This means that we celebrate the way that Jesus came to establish God’s Kingdom on Earth.  In order to build that Kingdom, we must establish kindom among all people, which means acknowledging that our Lord is the God of the oppressed. It means acknowledging that our baptismal call means caring for the vulnerable, and it means that we are called to help modern slaves who are the most vulnerable among us.

 


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