I was stunned recently to learn that sex trafficking is rampant in the State of Ohio. The Toledo Blade reports that Toledo, Ohio ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to the number of arrests, investigations and rescues of children trapped in the sex trade. Only Miami, Portland, OR, and Las Vegas report higher numbers.
The Blade report estimates conservatively that 1800 people may be trafficked in Ohio at any given time. Over the course of a year more than one thousand Ohio children are being sex trafficked at any given time.
Human trafficking is the exploitation of people against their will for monetary profit while giving these people little or no pay. The traffickers will use force, fraud and coercion to compel women, men and children into prostitution, pornography, domestic servitude, small businesses and agriculture.
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. The United Nations estimates that globally 2.5 million people are trafficked every year. Sex trafficking brings anywhere from 32 to 91 billion dollars annually worldwide.
In the United States when children are rescued out of the sex trade they are usually sent to jail or detention homes and treated as criminals. Instead of treating them like victims we treat them as criminals. The Church must find a better way to rehabilitate and save these children.
We must understand that human trafficking is a sin against the victims and a sin against God. The civil rights movement succeeded in banning racial slavery in the United States. Human trafficking is a form of slavery that absolutely destroys human beings created in the image of God. It is a blight on our Nation. The Church must become more aware of the problem and find ways to reach these modern day slaves and lead them to Christ.
We must become better informed and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into action. I want the people called The Churches of Christ in Christian Union to prayerfully consider partnering with others to develop safe houses where we bring these children into a safe environment and lead them to Christ. I am challenging you to join me in becoming better informed and to prayerfully consider ways to help these modern day slaves find true freedom in Christ.
The sex trafficking of children in the U.S. is a blight on our Nation. It is evil in every sense of the word. I believe God is calling us to address this problem in some very practical ways. We cannot ignore this kind of evil modern day slavery when it is rampant all around us.