Resources for local churches are available
The World Evangelical Alliance has recently created a task force on human trafficking to raise awareness across the WEA community, which represents 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide.
The task force, headed by the WEA spokesperson on human trafficking, Commissioner Christine MacMillan, aims to prevent and combt trafficking by developing strategic and effective actions and tools that will help equip the local churches and their leaders to become responsive to the victims of human trafficking.
“Looking at the atrocity of human trafficking may invoke lament where “tears flow like a river day and night” (Lam. 2:18a), MacMillan said. “Perhaps the task force is to release tears in God’s Church as the door to which we produce strategic interventions of determination.”
According to MacMillan, who also serves as the Director of the International Social Justice Commission of the Salvation Army, the task force is charged with the following outcomes:
- Awareness-raising efforts with WEA members and surrounding communities.
- Community-based projects in addressing intervention strategies in highly trafficked parts of our world.
- Engagement with regional United Nations offices in building collaborative think tanks and subsequent action.
- Empowerment of the local church to influence civil society in the backyards of our communities.
- Bringing a social justice paradigm where there is an active presence in social service church mission.
- Raising the issue of intervention in human trafficking with vulnerable and at-risk people.
Resource materials for the local churches are already on offer and major projects of churches, collectively–with task force members facilitating–are currently taking place in Eastern Europe, India, Canada and Australia.
The task force members who have been selected from the WEA Women’s Commission are the Rev. Eileen Stuart-Rhode, executive director Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag of Sweden and Jocelyn Durston of Canada. Appointees will be responsible for developing the global vision and effectively applying the vision principles in their regions. Influential men are soon to be added to the task force, and the named membership will be announced in the coming weeks.
“The anti-human trafficking task force holds to credence of action,” MacMillan added. “It embraces a spiritual worldview of unconditional compassion. Its love of God is intentional in encouraging society to live in communities of capacity and dignity in relationship. It viewstrafficking as an injustice to God’s desire to live in relationships of mutual respect.
Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the WEA Internation Director, commented: “It is a travesty that more than one person a minute is trafficked across borders every year. It is my hope and prayer that the WEA initiative will help mobilize and train our global community to respond in meaningful, effective and biblical ways. As Christ followers we must do all we can to help end the injustices of this worldwide calamity.”