The Anglican Alliance is encouraging churches around the Communion to choose a Sunday to mark Freedom Sunday in this period between 18 October, Anti-Trafficking Day, and 2 December, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. The Alliance has worked with an ecumenical group to produce Freedom Sunday resources to support churches in study, praying and acting on human trafficking.
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted issues of injustice within communities across the world and has had a devastating impact on the lives of many. Victims of modern slavery and human trafficking, who remain largely unseen to the rest of society, have been particularly impacted by lockdown measures. See here for more information on situation of modern slavery and human trafficking during the pandemic.
The Anglican Alliance has heard stories from around the Communion about the effects that the pandemic has had on victims of human trafficking, both at individual and community levels. There have been changes to trafficking routes and the ways in which people are being exploited, with an increase in online exploitation, causing victims to become increasingly unseen. Many communities have become at heightened risk of trafficking due to loss of livelihoods and traffickers looking to target the most vulnerable at this time.
This has highlighted the important role of churches in raising awareness and protecting the most vulnerable in their communities. Freedom Sunday is a global day for churches to come together in prayer, worship and action against human trafficking. The time in between 18 September and 2 December, two key dates which highlight human trafficking and modern slavery, create a space in which churches are encouraged to mark Freedom Sunday.
The Anglican Alliance has produced a resource to equip and enable churches to engage with Freedom Sunday. It contains further information about Freedom Sunday, The Freedom Prayer, a sermon outline, case studies and links to further resources. The resource is available in four languages: English, Spanish, French and Portuguese which can be downloaded here:
This year churches might like to focus on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on human trafficking in their Freedom Sunday service. At a time when there is increased vulnerability in communities across the world it is vital that we continue to advocate against these injustices by raising awareness amongst our churches and communities and joining together in prayer and action.
We look forward to hearing from churches about their Freedom Sunday plans, how they use the resources and take action against human trafficking and modern slavery within their communities. Please write to the Anglican Alliance to tell us so we can share your news with others.
The Anglican Alliance has been supporting churches and agencies around the Communion to engage with the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking. In 2014, the Archbishop of Canterbury along with the Pope and other global faith leaders signed a declaration on ending modern slavery. The Anglican Alliance has since then convened a series of regional consultations throughout the Communion and facilitates active regional communities of practice, where people come together to share their experiences and support one another with advice and prayer.
Please see our new information and resources hub on human trafficking and modern slavery for more information and resources on these crucial issues, which cause untold suffering in millions of lives around the world.
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