“Invisible Chains”

international copy-1Dear Friends for Life:  The First “International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking” will be celebrated throughout the world on February 8, 2015. The day is intended to raise greater public awareness and encourage reflection and action on the violence and injustice that impact victims of human trafficking.

Human trafficking victimizes 27 million people each year. 70% of these are female victims who are trafficked into the commercial sex industry. Modern-day slavery is one of the most lucrative illegal activities in the world.

Photo(1)A common response to the problem of trafficking is to ask why the victims don’t just run away. Pope Francis has described the “invisible chains” which have kept victims imprisoned and cut off from the rest of society. These “chains” include the fear that traffickers may kill or torture victims, threats against their family back home, worry about arrest for crimes they were forced to commit, not knowing who to trust or where to go, not having the language to communicate the facts of their situation, and suspicion of police and other officials based on life experiences.

pifx1mposterhumantraffickingHuman trafficking and modern slavery occur because some people do not accept that equal dignity and human rights apply to everyone. All human beings have a role in challenging this mentality. In the Pope’s words: “The globalisation of indifference, which today burdens the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters, requires all of us to forge a new worldwide solidarity and fraternity capable of giving them new hope and helping them to advance with courage amid the problems of our time and the new horizons which they disclose and which God places in our hands.”

Together let us fight for the victims of this modern slave trade which continues to expand daily. The Dalai Lama warns: “Change only takes place through action not through meditation and prayer alone.”

Pope Francis also encourages us to become active: “All of us are called by God to be free, all are called to be sons and daughters, and each, according to his or her own responsibilities, is called to combat modern forms of enslavement.”

Resources for Worship and Action: Click here and here.

God Bless
Jerry Novotny, OMI

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(The Difference is LIFE):   Let us pray for Victims of Trafficking and those who work to combat it.

Prayer: Lord of all, we want to see your kingdom appear and your will be done. We know that trafficking is against your very nature and we pray for a real end to this horrific slavery. God of all that is good, help us to be people of prayer, of action and a people who speak your truth and justice into the world around us. Help us to use our time, our resources and our energy to overcome, by your power, the evil that is human trafficking and to claim the victory that is already ours. Amen.

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Websites by Fr. Jerry

LifeIssues.net

Fr. Jerry’s Blog  (in English)

Japan-lifeissues.net (in Japanese)

Fr. Jerry’s Blog  (in Japanese)

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