Modern day slavery. It’s something we may rarely talk about in everyday conversations. We may not often touch on the issue.  But it’s an issue that needs to be addressed. We as a church need to tackle and shine light directly on the oppressor.

According to Exodus Cry, “4.5 million are enslaved in sexual exploitation worldwide.” The Home Office has estimated that there are between, “10,000 and 13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK.”

These are not just statistics. These are beautiful faces – people like you and me who are in bondage, being told to stay silent.

Can we let this go on? No. We will not be silent because Jesus came to set the captives free. Luke 4:18 says, “He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released…that the oppressed will be set free.”

According to a recent article by BBC, Prime Minister Theresa May vows to defeat ‘evil’ on modern slavery. “Sexual exploitation is the most common form of modern slavery reported in the UK, followed by labour exploitation, forced criminal exploitation and domestic servitude.”

The enemy is out to seize and rob us – wanting to take possession. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “He is like a roaring lion seeking to devour.” These precious lives are isolated and only interacting with the people who take from and oppress them.

Those involved in sexual exploitation need to be free not just in their bodies but in their minds as well. When Jesus sets you free, you are truly free – genuinely. Inside and out. Healing doesn’t happen overnight but it can be overcome with the love of Jesus that saturates and diminishes even the deepest pain. Only God can set the captives free – mentally and spiritually, physically and emotionally.

Those who experienced the trauma of modern day slavery need to know that God loves them and is committed to them with an unconditional, everlasting love. Unlike those who are manipulating and using them. “Traffickers are using the internet to lure their victims with hollow promises of jobs, education and even love.” But Eph. 3:17 says, “May Christ through your faith make his permanent home in your hearts.” These beautiful faces need to know that Christ can be their home.

How are you able to make a difference, you may be asking?

Firstly, seek God and pray. Prayer is powerful and cannot be neglected.

Secondly, spread awareness. Both men and women and children have been abused in modern day slavery. It may not be a popular issue but that is why it needs to be addressed and tackled.

Thirdly, contact those in authority to bring justice. Support those who are working on these human rights and dignity issues. Support charities and groups already working towards this freedom. By doing this you are speaking up for those cornered, unable to speak. You are untying their hands and setting them free.

Recently, “The Modern Slavery Act 2015 says an offence is committed if someone holds another in slavery or servitude or requires them to perform forced or compulsory labour.” And Theresa May has also recently stated that, “Britain will lead the fight against modern slavery.”

But the only way we are going to lead this fight is by shining light directly on the darkness.

“Modern slaves in the UK, often said to be hiding in plain sight are vulnerable people who have travelled long distances, believing they were heading for legitimate jobs, are finding they have been duped, forced into hard labour, and then locked up and abused.”

God knows where they hide and is searching intimately for each and every one of these precious souls. Psalm 139:1 says, “You have searched me and have known me.” Those who are lost, stolen, raped of their rights, treasures and values can be uplifted, healed, and restored.

We are one step closer to the victory of abolishing modern day slavery, so let’s pray and continue to contact our leaders and raise awareness. Let’s bring them out of the dark place into the light, so that their voices can be heard.