This is the First Sunday of the Season of Lent. It is also Freedom Sunday, promoted by organizations in the “New Abolitionist Movement” to highlight the problem of human trafficking and modern slavery. I found out about this too late to urge my congregation to participate and it is too much to hope that all slavery and human trafficking will have ended in a year’s time–so I can urge both my congregation and yours to put Freedom Sunday on your annual calendars. I also urge us all to find out more about human trafficking and modern slavery (including sex slavery, but also the way that much of the clothes we wear is produced by slave-labor in sweatshops in the global south) and what we can do to end it.
I think this is appropriately on the calendar for the First Sunday in Lent. No matter whether we observe some form of Lenten fasting or other spiritual disciplines, they are only a means, never the end in themselves. As God says in Isaiah, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?” Isa. 58:6.
Here are some resources on human trafficking and the New Abolitionist Movement.
Race Traitor (online journal of new abolitionism)
Not for Sale campaign
Child Trafficking. com
Coalition of Organ-Failure Solutions (Fights the trafficking in human organs for transplants, including the kidnapping and trafficking of persons for theft of their organs.)
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