Let’s Set Captives Free

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed free

//LUKE 4:18//

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In your city. On your block. Across the street. Where your clothes are made. At your gas station. It’s there. But it doesn’t have to be.

It is modern day slavery. An estimated 45 million people* are trapped in some form of slavery worldwide. To put that in perspective that is approximately five times the population of New York City.

This is a covert, horrible affair that goes on silently all around. People have rediscovered how profitable it is to buy and sell human beings. Clearly, humans are not consumable; they can be sold, used and abused over and over again, creating never ending income. It is estimated that in the last year slave traders have made over 150 billion dollars*; that is more than the annual revenue of Nike, Starbucks, Amazon and Google combined.

Slavery is illegal almost everywhere in the world, yet more people are enslaved across our planet then ever before. It needs to be recognized that slavery is continually occurring not because it’s unstoppable, but because mankind chooses to ignore it. God created every single one of us to live in freedom and as His followers we are called to fight for those in captivity.

Slavery in America was perpetuated not merely by human badness but also by human blindness…men convinced themselves that a system that was so economically profitable must be morally justifiable.

//Martin Luther King Jr.//

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Types of slavery

HUMAN TRAFFICKING This is the most prevalent and fastest growing form of modern day slavery. Basically, it is the illegal sale and trade of human beings for the purposes of exploiting them for manual or sexual labor against their will. Human trafficking affects every nation across the globe. People in impoverished situations are especially vulnerable to trafficking. Desperate times lead to desperate measures, which is why people in poverty are more likely to accept crooked job offers or become entrapped by the deceitful schemes of traffickers. Men, women and children who are forced into this industry are ripped of their identities, subject to appalling abuse and exposed to torturous living conditions.

CHILD SLAVERY A minor who is forced into participating in illicit activities, including, but not limited to hazardous labor for no pay, prostitution, armed conflict {child soldiers}, arranged marriage, forced begging, or petty theft. The heartbreaking reality is that nearly one in five victims of slavery are children. Minors are especially vulnerable because they are typically desperate, overly trusting, and easily manipulated.

DESCENT BASED SLAVERY This type of slavery stems from caste systems. In areas that practice these systems, people born into certain socioeconomic situations face a lifetime of exploitation by those from higher classes. Although slavery is prohibited by international law, descent-based slavery can be so culturally ingrained in a society that challenging its existence is nearly impossible.

BONDED LABOR This is one of the most common forms of slavery because at a first glance it doesn’t look like slavery. A person becomes a bonded laborer when their work is demanded to pay off a loan. Typically, masters do not tell workers how long they will have to work to eliminate the debt, and workers are often not allowed to take any other jobs on the side to speed up the process. The debts rarely exceed one thousand dollars, yet the work needed to pay them off far outweighs the debt itself. Violence and threats can be used to coerce workers to stay, and in some cases they are kept under strict surveillance.  Because of this deceptive cycle, debts are often passed down through generations and workers are rarely freed.

Slavery has many names, appearances and forms, but at the end of the day, it’s still slavery. Those entrapped in this heinous crime are people with stories, families, futures, and dreams. No matter the situation of bondage, the vital need for rescue is still present.

Where slavery is, there liberty cannot be and where liberty is, there slavery cannot be.

//ABRAHAM LINCOLN//

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Let’s Change This

LEARN + RAISE AWARENESS They say that ignorance is bliss. In some ways it is, after all, you aren’t accountable to fix something you didn’t know about. Learning more about modern day slavery equips you to raise awareness by sharing your knowledge with others. You can become a modern day abolitionist! Here are some websites and resources that can help:

A21

Unbound

International Justice Mission

End It Movement

Not For Sale

PRAY

This situation may seem too dark, too dirty, too hopeless or too vast, but we have a weapon  with supernatural power…PRAYER. Intercession on the behalf of victims and traffickers is what we need to do to bring about real, lasting change.

Pray for…

RESCUE. Statistics show that 99% of victims are never found. Plead with God for law enforcement to discover this crime amiss so that rescue can come about for those trapped in slavery.

RECOVERY. The men, women and children involved in any type of slavery go through the unimaginable. Pray for emotional, spiritual, and physical healing. Pray that they would encounter the radical grace, acceptance and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, the ultimate healer.

JUSTICE. Slavery is such a stealthy, quick moving affair that often passes over state and country borders, making the task of abducting traffickers and freeing victims very complicated and difficult. Pray that the local, regional and national law enforcement in every nation would work to enforce the laws set and will work to protect their citizens.

CONVICTION. Pray that men and women involved in trafficking victims would be convicted of sin and seek righteousness. With every victim trafficked, pray that these traffickers would instead see each person’s value as God sees their value. We desire for those trafficking others have an encounter with God that is life transforming and stops their abuse of others.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

//HEBREWS 4:16//

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RED X Mark your calendars! This Thursday is Shine a Light On Slavery day. Since 2013, the End It Movement Coalition has been tenaciously fighting to end modern day slavery by raising awareness and generating action. Shine a Light is a day to let people know that this is going on and invite them to join the fight to end it. To be a part of this, draw a big, bright, bold red X on your hand and share what it means with anyone that asks. If you’d like, post a picture and tag #ENDITMOVEMENT Are you in it to end it?

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You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say that you did not know.

//William Wilberforce//

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*All of my numbers come from A21 and International Justice Mission, two reputable organizations fighting for freedom.

 

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2 thoughts on “Let’s Set Captives Free

    • Kaytlyn Amanda says:

      Thank you for reading Jonathan! Compassion is a wonderful organization; my family sponsors a little girl through them as well. Having that financial support and education opportunity definitely protects children from the possibility of human trafficking. Thank you so much for supporting my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

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