Friday, May 15, 2009

Human Trafficking

Georgetown University law professor and former Department of State advisor Laura Lederer commended board members at The Wesleyan Church Headquarters in Fishers, IN. for the Church‘s efforts to help stop the trafficking of humans for sex and labor servitude.

Leaderer helped frame the United States' law against trafficking. She told church leaders trafficking is prevalent in every big city in America, and that up to 17,000 persons (half of them children) are trafficked into America each year. She estimated the total number of trafficked persons at 27-28 million and calls the problem"modern-day slavery."

I salute our Wesleyan compatriots for their storied history of fighting for human freedom and justice. Active in the underground railroad movement, one Wesleyan church became the scene of the first women's rights convention. Freedom's Hill Church, now restored as a historic display on the campus of Southern Wesleyan University, was targeted by 19th Century slave traders and its pastor faced hanging because of his protection of slaves.

Lederer old the story of Rosa, age 13. Trafficked to America, Rosa was forced into prostitution by a group of men who gang-raped, beat her and then abandoned her in a trailer without food or water for three days. A wife and mother of three daughters, Lederer, currently serves as vice president of an anti-trafficking agency. She urged Wesleyans to "first of all educate yourself, to read about trafficking to learn about the harm of it; and then to find a way to bring that information into the community."

As Wesleyans join others in efforts to abolish human trafficking and care for its victims, I have this nagging question: when will the General Assembly and local congregations of the Church of God, Anderson get serious about such issues?

As a Body of Believers, we can be defensive to say the least, even prickly, about issues like biblical authority, holiness as a lifestyle, and the unity of all believers. Yet, we are so slow about letting go of our in-house issues, and too often too slow to practice the really important issues we preach. As a self-styled Reformation, we need to devote ourselves more seriously to what we preach or take down our brag flag.

This is Wayne in Warner’s World

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