‘So, in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.’ Galatians 3:26-29
Global migration is one of the biggest issues of our time. It is an important issue for our churches, and so is every individual who is caught up in the rapidly-changing movements of people around the world.
As in other aspects of social policy, we pray for everyone to be treated in a way that is both fair and compassionate. That includes, especially, the millions who have been forcibly displaced from their homes, the asylum seeker, the refugee and the immigrant, for amongst us there is a great evil.
Modern day slavery is the world’s fastest growing global crime, involving over 40 million men, women and children around the world today. This is more than at any other time in human history.
Global faith communities need to stand together in prayer and take action to put an end to this horrendous crime.
World Freedom Day this year is going to be commemorated on 9th October recognising the crucial role that churches have to play in the fight against human trafficking, for modern slavery is happening in our cities, our towns, and perhaps even in our village.
I write about this matter now because in the diocesan lectionary for the 31st July we remember William Wilberforce, Olaudah Equiano and Thomas Clarkson:
– William Wilberforce 1759 – 1833, British politician, philanthropist and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade.
– Olaudah Equiano c.1745 – 1797. A former slave himself, he became a seaman and a writer. An African boy of 11 years old, when kidnapped along with his sister and sold into slavery, gaining his freedom in London, he helped to support the end of slavery in Britain and went on to write about it in his autobiography.
– Thomas Clarkson 1760 – 1846. An English abolitionist and leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire.
During their lifetimes, Wilberforce and Clarkson shared public attention and both were much honoured for their role in ending slavery.
However, until recently, few Britons wanted to recognise either the crucial role of the Caribbean slave revolts, or of black men and women abolitionists such as Olaudah Equiano. Thankfully now, attitudes have changed and their stories and recollections are widely accepted and highly acknowledged.
As Christian disciples in the 21st century what are your thoughts?