This…Sunday (September 24), thousands of churches around the world will dedicate their service to fighting modern-day slavery as part of International Justice Mission’s annual Freedom Sunday. Around 2,700 churches from 16 countries will share stories about the reality of slavery and call on their congregants to partner with IJM until all are free. The call to act on slavery will go out in 10 different languages as Christians worldwide unite to fight for more than 40 million men, women, and children who are in slavery today.
I corresponded with Mike Hogan, IJM’s national director for church mobilization, about Freedom Sunday and the evil of modern slavery.
What exactly is modern day slavery?
Most people think slavery is a thing of the past, but there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. It’s hard to grasp, but millions of men, women, and children all around the world are considered someone else’s property. Simply put, slavery is the use of lies or violence to force another person to work for little or no pay—also because there’s no one there to protect them. In many places, the laws against slavery just aren’t enforced by the police and courts so slave owners and traffickers know they can prey on the poor without fear of any consequences at all. Think what it would be like if someone picked up the phone to call 911 and either no one was there to take the call or the operators said they couldn’t help. That is the reality millions face.
What parts of the world is slavery a problem?
Slavery is an international problem stretching around the globe, but for IJM specifically, field offices are located and case work occurs in the following places: Guatemala, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, India, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. Just because IJM doesn’t operate in a specific country does not mean slavery does not exist, but rather our knowledge and resources are best utilized in these locations.