According to International Justice Mission, there are 36 million slaves in the world today. That is equivalent to the combined populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, and Tokyo. To people everywhere, but especially to followers of Christ, this is simply unacceptable. The Bible clearly states one of the things we can do to honor God is to end slavery (Isaiah 58:6).
It is unconscionable to me the Church can find the resolve to rally against gay marriage and to debate Creationism vs. Evolution, but can care so little about slavery. We are quick to defend the causes which have no direct victims but fall silent to the plight of 36 million individuals relegated to a life of abuse, anguish, captivity, and an utter loss of dignity.
This is a solvable problem. While the number of people trapped in slavery is a huge number, it is nowhere near the number of people living in poverty, and we are hard at work to end that crisis. This is, statistically speaking, a much smaller problem although no less insidious. While estimates vary widely, the consensus is there are over 2 billion Christians in the world. Setting aside the debate over how the term “Christian” is defined, this means there are approximately 55 Christians for every 1 person who is in the grips of slavery. If the followers of Jesus would live as Christ told us to, we could easily end slavery.
The problem is we lack the stomach and the spine to face the issue. The tales of human trafficking, rather than breaking our hearts and motivating us to action, are too uncomfortable to confront. We’re afraid. We think the problem only exists in faraway places so we are unaffected. We are untouched by the plight of slaves because our hearts are not broken by the same things that break the heart of God. Every person was created in the image of God, and every person is of unsurpassable worth in His eyes.
God created us for freedom and to worship Him. Slavery restricts people from living the life God intended for them to live. It is a dark and vile weapon of Satan. Both those enslaved and those who enslave them are in desperate need of the light, the truth, and the love of Jesus. We can end slavery if we will commit fully to God and attack the problem through prayer and joining our voices and our wills in opposition to this horrifying practice.
What can you do to end slavery? First, get free. Most of us are enslaved by Satan and it is time to shake off the chains by committing our lives fully to Christ. Next, get angry. See the horror of those living in slavery through the eyes of God and let it build a holy zeal within you. Third, get involved. I highly recommend organizations like International Justice Mission. I’ve supported them for years and can attest to their faithfulness and effectiveness. One day we will have to answer to God why we did not do what we could to end slavery. We can’t plead ignorance. We can’t claim inability. Don’t be caught without an answer. Do your part to end slavery today.