Human trafficking, both for labor and sex, is among the largest and fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the world. Labor trafficking dominates much of the world economy, and accounts for upwards of two-thirds of the estimated 27 million people enslaved today. Sex trafficking, the more common form in the United States, depends on the willingness of men to pay for sex, and all too often from minors. The average age at which a girl is forced into prostitution in America is 11-13, and it is the most vulnerable among us who are being abused.
Trafficking exists in every state in our nation, in every major city and, in many cases, even in smaller communities. In the last ten years, efforts to eliminate or reduce trafficking have intensified on both a federal and state level yet trafficking continues to increase. It is morally intolerable that slavery still exists in America in the twenty-first century.
The undersigned (and the groups we represent) believe that we can best fight this scourge of evil through prayer and wisdom from God. It is fitting that people of faith exercise leadership in taking a stand against human trafficking, which we believe is the greatest human rights issue in the world today. Religious leaders in the 18th and 19th centuries (including William Wilberforce, John Wesley, Arthur Tappen, Theodore Weld, Harriet Tubman, Josephine Butler, Katherine Bushnell and Frederick Douglass) led the fight to end slavery in their times, just as religious leaders have historically led the fight for civil rights in this country. We are calling YOU—in your role as leader—to consider for yourself the question posed in the Book of Esther:
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for [those oppressed] will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to [your position of leadership] for such a time as this?”
Please commit to joining the National Weekend of Prayer, January 11-13, 2013
(January 11 has been designated by Congress as Human Trafficking Awareness Day.)
PRIOR TO…Weekend of January 5-6
The Weekend of Prayer should be prefaced by a time of learning about human trafficking. Our website will offer educational resources, links, videos, samples of bulletin inserts and prayer guides for your use.
Friday, January 11: Human Trafficking Awareness Day
• NOON IN EVERY TIME ZONE: Individual or Group Prayers
• EVENING: Prayer rallies in many cities
We encourage all to say individual or group prayers, in their homes or places of employment, at noon their time.
On the evening of the 11th there will be webcasts of prayer gatherings in several major cities, including Washington DC, Orlando, Miami, Dallas, Kansas City, and Las Vegas. The rallies will be streamed over the Internet. Every member of Congress will be invited to the rally in DC.
Saturday, January 12: A TELEPHONIC PRAYER SURGE
We are partnering with the “Prayer Surge NOW” on a nationwide Prayer Conference Call to end modern day slavery: http://prayersurgenow.blogspot.com
Congregations worshipping on Saturday are requested to dedicate their prayers to ending modern day slavery.
Sunday, January 13: PRAYERS of THOUSANDS of CONGREGATIONS
Petitioning with one voice, we are encouraging clergy in congregations across the nation to lead their congregants in prayers to end modern day slavery. Clergy may choose to dedicate their sermons to this issue. It is our hope that through this event thousands of the faithful will be informed about the horrors of modern day slavery and be motivated to take action to seek justice.
Offerings may also be dedicated to the local or national anti-human trafficking organization or restoration shelter of your choice. Our website will offer some suggestions.
If you suspect that someone may be a victim of human trafficking, call:
National Human Trafficking Hotline
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.