A Plea for the Enslaved
By Bishop Aubrey Shines
More people live in slavery today than at any other time in history. In spite of what many people believe, America is not immune to the horrors of human slavery. Slavery continues to thrive within the borders of the United States of America because regular citizens like you and I have not forced the issue.
In recent months, the devastating issue of human trafficking within our borders received a degree of media attention because of the arrest of over 150 criminals and the liberation of over 100 women who had been enslaved. In fact, the vast majority of those enslaved are not women at all. They are young girls who have not even reached their teen years. They are typically poor, immigrants who speak little if any English. They are lured away by claims of prosperity for themselves and their families. Instead they are met with the harsh life of slave labor and sexual servitude.
Such tales seem to be the horrors of distant third world countries. The reality is that human trafficking is happening every day right in front of us. The state of Florida where I live is the third in chosen destination for human trafficking in the U.S. The probability is high that you have actually seen a person living in bondage without even realizing it. Their captors control them by threatening their lives and the lives of their family.
Congress has created committees, police departments have allocated budgets and Hollywood occasionally becomes enamored with the subject and gut-wrenching dramas are produced. However the prolonged spotlight necessary to end human trafficking must come from the pews and pulpit. If the church does not become fully engaged on this issue, it will only get worse.
The lives that are at stake are not only the lives of the women forced into sexual servitude, but also the lives of the children that they conceive. When the enslaved women make it to freedom, they tell shocking stories of being forced to have abortion after abortion after abortion. Their multiple interactions and encounters with organizations like Planned Parenthood should raise calls for concern by abortionists and their staff. Unfortunately Planned Parenthood staff rarely take the opportunity to help these women and free them from their captors.
The Body of Christ must stand in the gap for these women. We must not allow them to languish alone. Most community tasks forces on human trafficking do not encourage people to take matters into their own hands. This is wise counsel. Human trafficking is a $9 billion dollar industry backed by true life dangerous and evil criminals. However, you can make a huge impact by learning, looking and reporting. Learn what modern day slavery really is. Look for signs of it in your everyday encounters. And report it to the proper authorities.