I saw the movie The Sound of Freedom. Did you? The Sound of Freedom is the story of a former United States government agent who quits his job in order to recuse children from sex trafficking. It was a troubling movie to sit through, an even more troubling movie to think about, and an impossible movie to forget. If you haven’t seen the movie and have the opportunity to go see it, go see it.
Besides the true story, that is the focus of the movie, the statistics on human trafficking that they show at the end of movie are what have stuck with me. The biggest stat that haunts my thoughts is that slavery is not a thing of the past. There are more people in slavery today than at any other time in history. Experts have calculated that roughly thirteen million people were captured and sold as slaves between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today, according to the United Nations, an estimated 40.3 million people are living in some form of modern-day slavery. The statistics go on to say that children make up twenty-five percent of all the slaves worldwide. More than one million children are exploited in the commercial sex trade every year. I was sickened to learn that the United States is the largest consumer of child sex trafficking.
I could go on and on with facts and statistics and explain more about modern-day slavery and human trafficking. But, right now, I just want to cry and pray.
We seek your divine protection for all who are exploited and enslaved.
For those forced into labor, trafficked into sexual slavery, and denied freedom.
We beseech you to release them from their chains.
Grant them protection, safety, and empowerment.
Restore their dignity and provide them a new beginning.
Show us how we might end exploitation by addressing its causes.
Help us reach out in support of victims and survivors of human trafficking.
Make us instruments of your spirit for their liberation.
For this we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.
(Prayer from the USCCB)