Christian organizations across the country — including Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas — are encouraging believers to pray Jan. 11-13 for an end to human trafficking, the world’s third-largest criminal activity.
The consortium of groups is asking Christians to pray for victims, trafficking survivors, customers and traffickers themselves. The weekend of prayer coincides with the national Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Jan. 11.
“From our perspective, human trafficking is a heart issue,” said Carolyn Porterfield, Texas WMU multicultural consultant. “The sinfulness of a human heart drives someone to sell another, for someone to buy a human being and use that person as a commodity. Human trafficking is evil. The hope we see is that God is able to break into this darkness. Lives can be redeemed and restored — trafficker, user, victim. Prayer is a powerful weapon in this fight. Jesus taught us to pray for his kingdom to come. We are to pray that we will be delivered from the evil one. Prayer is being on the frontlines.”
The fight against trafficking has reached new heights in Texas Baptist life during recent years as various congregations have responded in diverse ways to trafficking within the United States, as well as abroad. Ministries are helping survivors recover, attempting to build safe houses for victims, training law enforcement and beginning preventative ministries in neighborhoods where children are seen as being at higher-risk of being trafficked.
Last year, the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and Texas WMU brought together many groups for a roundtable discussion that eventually led to the forming of the Freedom Ring Alliance Against Human Trafficking, which is supported by the Mary Hill Davis Offering for Texas Missions.
About 27 million people are modern-day slaves. Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year. Pimps recruit women and children into sex trafficking at parks, playgrounds, homeless shelters, bus stations, schools and on the Internet.
Tomi Grover, who leads the Texas-based TraffickStop, hopes the weekend will usher in a decline in trafficking.
“Several ministries from across the U.S. have joined forces to engage God's people to pray beginning on that day and through the weekend to intercede on behalf of victims and those that perpetrate this horrific criminal enterprise,” Grover wrote. “We are praying that God will compel a mighty movement to end human trafficking.”
For more information about the weekend as well as resources to use, visit www.weekendofprayer.net.