As Americans it seems that we may be oblivious to one of the morally odious criminal activities in our world today. We simply do not want to have to deal with the reality that women and children are being used as sexual playthings by a frighteningly larger and larger group of deviants that is international in scope, provided by a willing criminal element. It is reported that 80% of those caught in human trafficking are women and children.
In recent months I have had a couple of different speakers address my congregation concerning this vile business that knows no restraint in attempting to satisfy the prurient desires of degenerates. If our laws are ineffective in curbing this immoral outrage, and our government willingly reneges on its responsibilities to protect those who are most at risk, then I am calling on the Church to let its voice be heard!
The Church has answered this challenge in the past regarding other vile activities and has successfully won the day. One of the earliest turnarounds was the removal of the hideously barbaric practice of gladiatorial contests during the era of Ancient Rome. “In the early 3rd century CE, the Christian writer Tertullian had acknowledged the power of the gladiatorial games over the Christian flock, and was compelled to be blunt: the combats were murder, their witnessing of these games was spiritually and morally harmful, and the gladiator was an instrument of pagan human sacrifice. In the next century, Augustine deplored the fascination with the spectacle of the games as inimical to a Christian life and salvation.” After Constantine I became the first Christian emperor of Rome he banned gladiatorial games in the year 325 CE. In various parts of the empire, the games continued, but were losing popular interest. What finally put an end to the gladiatorial games was the martyrdom of Telemachus, a devout Christian monk. The year was 404 CE. Telemachus attempted to stop a contest between two gladiators, and was killed for his efforts. The games effectively ended at this time.
Another of the more reprehensible actions a society has engaged in that brought the Church into the struggle was slavery of black Africans. The story of one Christian’s stand against this barbaric practice has been recounted in the movie of recent years, “Amazing Grace.” This story of English parliamentarian, William Wilberforce, who singlehandedly brought slavery to an end in the British Empire in the early days of the 19th Century, is a testament to the fact that one person with the conviction of moral right and the able assistance of God are more than a match for any social sin, regardless of how much we may not wish to acknowledge its presence. The Church in America caught this fervor to end slavery as well, effectively hastening its end, albeit through a devastatingly brutal civil war. The same effort on the part of Christians and the Church can be attributed to the enforcement of child labor laws; the requirement of children to go to school; and the abolishment of child “sweat shops” so common at the end of the 19th Century.
Only a morally conscious people can stand up against the horrors of man’s depraved baser nature. This is why the Church must answer the call of those who have been subjected to the meanest of treatment in a world where we claim to have advanced in our so-called social evolvement.
A working definition of Human trafficking is “the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery.” If the idea of this happening makes you squirm – good! But I want to be quick to remind you that this is happening not just in some far distant third world country. It’s happening right here in the United States of America.
“Trafficking is an illegal industry, so finding out just how many victims there are annually is difficult. Conservative estimates say that 15,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. annually, while others guess the number is as high as 60,000. It is reasonable to say that whichever number, or wherever in between the truth lay, the number is one too many.” Statistics reveal that the states with the greatest concentration of trafficked persons are New York, California, and Florida. Washington DC also has a large trafficked population.”
“Traffickers may be professional or non-professional criminals because of the low-start up cost of creating a trafficking business. Trafficking is appealing because it is so lucrative: it is the third largest illegal industry worldwide.”
Read more about traffickers at www.HumanTrafficking.com.
More on this crucial topic next week.
More on this crucial topic next week.