The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

It Shouldn’t Happen Here

Posted by thelamp on April 20, 2007

Hartford, Connecticut, is an unlikely setting for a sex-trafficking ring. If asked, most Americans would probably name some far away third-world country as a more likely place where adults and juveniles could be forced into prostitution through fraud and coercion. Reality check. The U.S. Department of Justice announced last week that nine of the 10 people linked to human trafficking thugs operating out of New England have pleaded guilty for their roles in the crimes.

International sex trafficking is a well-known problem, but tragically, it happens here, too. As a nation of Christians, it is inconceivable that American citizens are being victimized in such a fashion. The United States isn’t a developing country plagued by lawlessness and corruption. There is no excuse for those who turn a blind eye, allowing the despicable crimes associated with modern day slavery to occur.

Worldwide, the selling of women and children is the third most valuable black-market commodity, after weapons and drugs. Sex trafficking is a $12-billion-a-year business. Most of the victims are women and children, including some boys, who are often sold multiple times, while their “owner” takes in tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. To control them, traffickers brutalize, rape, torture and threaten to kill family members of unwilling sex-workers.

The Center for Moral Clarity commends the Department of Justice for making human trafficking prosecutions a top priority. In the last six years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with U.S. attorneys’ offices, has increased by six-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed in court. It’s worth noting that DOJ obtained a record high number of defendants charged and convicted in human trafficking prosecutions in 2006.

Plenty of organizations have committed to bringing public awareness to the ongoing need for justice across the world. Americans who advocate Christian principles of justice for the oppressed must also look closer to home. Ending human trafficking within the U.S. borders should be a priority for Bible-believing Christians as well as the federal government.

“If we don’t stop playing church, get outside the four walls of the sanctuary and begin modeling the compassion of Christ toward those who are hurting, we’re going to lose this nation,” Pastor Rod Parsley said. “Too much is at stake. Too many innocent lives hang in the balance. Too many freedoms are in jeopardy.”

This means, people have to care about what’s going on at the house down the block. Children of God have a responsibility to be their brother’s keeper. Rather than distancing themselves from neighbors, as has become commonplace in communities across the nation, Christians ought to be looking out for each other.



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