BY AMANDA KLOER
Are you a Muslim or a Christian? If so, there are some exciting opportunities to fight slavery by engaging your faith. Human trafficking violates the principles of all major world religions, as well as the common human ethical values we share. Slavery is commonly prohibited by religious texts of all the major world religions. There are many way to engage your faith community in anti-trafficking efforts, whether it’s spending time in prayer and/or meditation, giving money, or working in service.
American Muslims are coming together to answer President Obama’s call to service by focusing on a number of key issues, one of which is human trafficking. The American-Muslim Interactive Network (AMIN) has partnered with human trafficking organization Bridge to Freedom Foundation to help engage Muslim Americans in service for survivors of human trafficking. Specifically, the partnership is focused on teaching at-risk communities how to identify traffickers and the trafficked. For more opportunities to serve human trafficking survivors and others in need with the Muslim American community, you can check out muslimserve.org.
The Muslim American community has been traditionally less involved in the anti-human trafficking movement than Christian and Jewish communities. Perhaps this is because Muslim-Americans have spent so long fighting negative cultural stereotypes about their faith, and they may be reluctant to draw attention to issues like trafficking, domestic violence, and abuse in their communities. As I’ve mentioned previously, the Quran condemns slavery like other major religious texts, so a call to fight human trafficking is natural for Muslims. I’m excited to see an increased focus on human trafficking by Muslims, since they have a great capacity to engage the Islamic faith in protecting victims and preventing trafficking in both Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
The Salvation Army is hosting their 4th Annual Weekend of Prayer and Fasting for Victims of Sexual Trafficking. If you are interested in participating, you can get more information and resources to participatehere. The Salvation Army has a number of great resources available on their website, including information for pastors, suggestions for prayers, and fasting guidelines.
Many denominations of the Christian community have been active in the anti-trafficking movement for a long time. Catholic organizations like the U.S. Conference for Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities were primary recipients of anti-trafficking funding under the Bush administration. The World Evangelical Association just created an anti-human trafficking task force. Christians have a number of opportunities to engage their faith in anti-trafficking efforts, which also means they have no excuses not to.
It’s great that these opportunities exist for Christians and Muslims, but I would love to see an opportunity that exists for all people of faith to work together. We all share in our condemnation of slavery and struggle for a freer, fairer world. Do you know of a movement against human trafficking in your faith? If so, I’d love to hear about it!
Photo credit: mufan96