Fighting for Freedom
The film Amazing Grace (2006) has become a favourite of mine. Rather than unnecessary violence or predictably slushy romance, here is a film portraying determination, courage and costly victory.
We are given juxtaposing themes: Glimpses of the oppressive slave trade in the 18th Century sit alongside abolitionists courageously dedicating their lives to the cause.
The victory displayed at the end of the film is glorious - and upon first viewing I assumed the fight was still won. Little did I realise that there are an estimated 27 million people in slavery today.
We can easily feel overwhelmed by this; we sense its oppressive weight. The ‘evil of human trafficking and slavery on the earth,’ says Beth Redman, is ‘bigger than its ever been’ (Beth's article). However, there is something we can do. When Wilberforce’s friend Pitt the Younger wanted to become Prime Minister at 24 years old, Wilberforce protested ‘No one of our age has ever taken power.’ It is Pitt’s response that communicates hope:
‘Which is why we’re too young to realise certain things are “impossible.” Which is why we will do them anyway.’ (Amazing Grace).
Do you think you can help release someone from the trap of human trafficking? It is only by believing that it’s possible for us – you and I – to make a difference, that we can in fact do so.
Anti-trafficking charity ‘The A21 Campaign’ describe the typical experiences of a victim. They speak of a trafficking journey that involves ‘deception, rape, beatings, and constant threats,’ in which ‘victims are often forced to live in confining and unsanitary conditions.’ Upon arrival, they can be forced to service ‘from 40 to 110 customers in one day’. The charity say ‘hell on earth’ best describes life for a victim of sex trafficking (see The Problem).
Being forced to prostitute themselves leaves the spirits of women and children utterly broken. This is movingly described by founders of another charity ‘Love 146’ who describe the time they went undercover to investigate a brothel which sold children. Through a pane of glass they were shown the little girls, who had numbers pinned to their dresses for identification. There was ‘no light’ left in their eyes, except one girl who stared back defiantly, still fighting. (Read more)
The issue is broad: Girls are trafficked into many other industries besides brothels, and boys and men are trafficked too.
In the face of such atrocities, it is exciting that we can do something to make sure ‘injustice shuts its mouth,’ by fighting on behalf of the oppressed (Job 5:16). Scripture strongly supports this, making it clear we are to ‘bind up the broken hearted,’ and release from ‘darkness’ the imprisoned (Isaiah 61:1).
If we must do something - what can we do?
A21 have come up with a list of 21 ways to make a difference. These range from hosting a dinner party to inform friends about trafficking, using a sports event to raise funds, using their prayer guide, and many more inspiring ideas.
Do you have any other ideas? Please respond with your thoughts.