Involving the Faith Community in the Anti-Human Trafficking Movement

Written by: Mark Kadel, Director of World Relief Spokane

151 years ago, our President at that time, Abraham Lincoln, signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in this county. This led to the ratification of the 13th Amendment to our Constitution two years later that basically states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States”. The debate within the Church in America at that time was whether slavery was un-biblical or not. In fact, the Church in America was divided over the issue and this was one of the reasons our county plunged into a great Civil War.

Fast forward 151 years. Every country in the world has laws against slavery and it is no longer a debate of whether slavery is wrong as everyone agrees that this is a human rights crime. The issue for the Church in America today is whether it still exists. The fact is, slavery exists in greater numbers today than at any time in human history. I find that the Church in America is largely ignorant of their responsibility to address this issue in their communities, families and raise awareness in their congregations.

God sees every child, every man or woman who is held captive and forced into labor or sexual exploitation. We know God’s heart is burdened by horrible injustices in our world and I personally believe the Church has a great responsibility to not be silent or ignore this issue any longer.

Too often in recent years, it has been my experience that some who offer trainings and presentations on human trafficking or the plight of refugees have focused predominantly on conveying information and stirring people to action. I must also admit that I have used these types of tactics to stimulate the emotions of people, hoping for action. Of course creating awareness and commitment is important. But the result too often is simply outrage and feel-good Facebook posts by well-intentioned people. While creativity and initiative are surely important, the many injustices in our world are so complex that they call for discernment, our deepest commitment and our most conscientious advocacy.

It’s easy to be against slavery, but indignation is not enough and certainly we must take action. Those of us who have a God-given passion for this violation of human rights have a moral obligation as well. We are accountable to vulnerable people and to future generations to wisely collaborate together for a viable solution that we can realistically support. And so it is imperative that we examine our own efforts and whether they are producing real results.

Below, is one way you can tangibly support World Relief Spokane as we address these issues and advocate for an end to the injustices that are far too common in our world today.

Banner pictures_AHTFor more information, please contact World Relief’s Anti-Trafficking Department Director, Mark Kadel at or Visit: for further information and resources.


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