Written by: Megan Coates (World Relief Anti-Trafficking Specialist/Intern)
FREEDOM SUNDAY is a day of awareness, a platform that provides churches with what they need to become more active in combating modern day slavery. Originally, Freedom Sunday was an initiative created by Not For Sale for the purpose of unifying churches in the fight against human trafficking. Many believe the church should be the catalyst in raising awareness about human trafficking and why not? Experts tell us, there are more slaves today than at any other time in history. Men, women, and children, are enslaved across the globe, as well as in their own communities. Therefor, it should be the members of the church, those who are held captive by sin, to raise awareness and help bring an end to human trafficking.
In Spokane, WA, several local churches participated in Freedom Sunday on February 22nd. World Relief Spokane’s Director, Mark Kadel, presented at Opportunity Christian Fellowship and Timberview Christian Fellowship about Human Trafficking. Mark shared about what human trafficking looks like in the world, what human trafficking looks like in Spokane, and what people can do to make a difference. Human Trafficking is not just a social issue, it is an epidemic and linked to human rights. Mark additionally connected the link between human trafficking and pornography. He challenged the integrity of males, encouraging the to stand up to fight against the sin.
Freedom Sunday comes on the heal of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, January 11th. The entire day is devoted to raising awareness nationwide. In Spokane, Lutheran Community Services hosted a Candle Light Prayer Vigil at River Park Square Mall to honor the victims of Human Trafficking. Local law enforcement and city council members addressed the issue to the public.
Although the months of January and February have passed, raising awareness about Human Trafficking is a year-round commitment. We urge you to take the necessary steps to make this movement a natural part of your everyday life style. Visit, http://fairtradeusa.org/products-partners for helpful resources and information about where to begin!
Standing together as a community, united, to say:
“we do not want sex trafficking on our streets,”
is not something that will happen overnight but it will get the attention of law makers if enough people are vocal. Raising awareness about human trafficking is so much bigger than those raising the awareness. Francis Chan quotes,
“It’s about people actually laying down their lives, sacrificing something, otherwise how are we a picture to the world unless we give up our time, our energy, our money toward those who are in need. Then suddenly [the world] gets a picture of Jesus Christ.”
For further information about HOW to stand with World Relief’s Anti-Human Trafficking department, we encourage you to attend a Volunteer Orientation. Get involved — http://worldreliefspokane.org/volunteer.