Today is a holiday that I hope will someday not exist. No, I don’t just want this to just stop being a holiday, I want the reason for this holiday to go away. “What is this holiday?” you may ask. Well today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.
It’s a holiday that we hope to someday eliminate, yet it’s a holiday so little amount of people know about. Slavery seems so far off and foreign, even a problem that isn’t quite real to us. It is a shame the number of people who think that slavery was ended by the civil war. I have seen the surprise people have about modern day slavery in my church’s campaign against slavery. Thankfully this in an issue that is getting more notice. People are starting to realize the huge problem human trafficking is and they are spreading the word.
Slavery and Human Trafficking is one of the great evils in our world, and something we need to raise our voices against and fight against. We need to take a stand for the weak and enslaved, those who can not speak for themselves. As Christians we are called to seek justice, “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:17). Also in Micah 6:8 it says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”.
Justice is something that is very near to God’s heart. He is perfectly just and He loves justice (Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalms 33:5). We are commanded to not pervert justice or to deny it but we are to follow it (Exodus 23:2,6, Deuteronomy 16:19,20) (NIV). The Bible continually commands us seek justice and that God does justice. There are 138 passages in the ESV version of the Bible that include the word justice. So when we see injustice, we can not ignore it. To ignore it is to sin (James 4:17).
So what can we do to fight against slavery? What can one single person do to end such a huge problem? The answers is that there is a lot we can do. The first and foremost thing to do is pray. God is sovereign and He can turn the hearts of kings (Proverbs 21:1), or slave owners. John Newton, the author of the most loved hymn “Amazing Grace”, was a slave trader before he became a pastor and an huge influence in the life of William Wilberforce, who was the leading force in ending slavery in England.
Second thing we can do is to spread the word. Let people know about modern day slavery and human trafficking. As I said earlier, this is a problem that most people don’t know nearly enough about. Use the God given opportunities you have to let others know.
Third thing is to give money. International Justice Mission(IJM) and Free the Slaves(FTS) are the two best organizations that I have found for fighting slavery (they are also great resources to get more info). I know that for IJM, the cost of freeing a slave is $500 dollars. FTS has on their website a list of how much things like sending a former slave child to school or such costs. They also give you the opportunity to sponsor one of their workers on the front lines. I would encourage any of you who have a passion for ending slavery to try to start a campaign in your church or school, or even do a justice concert or other event and have an offering for IJM, FTS, or any other abolition organization.
Let’s not ignore this problem any longer but raise our voices in defense of the weak, oppressed, lonely, abused people out there that are suffering under slavery. I want to leave you all with the word to one of my favorite songs by Tim Hughes:
“We must go, live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken
We must go
Stepping forward keep us from just singing
Move us into action
We must go”