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5/21/14 at 02:53 PM 0 Comments

Six Things Churches Can Do to End Human Trafficking

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Book cover of Justice Awakening

(This article was originally posted in The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

Boko Haram's kidnapping of over a hundred school girls and the subsequent #BringBackOurGirls movement has brought international awareness to human trafficking. But what can the church do to help end this blight on society?

Pastor Eddie Byun is on the front lines of the human trafficking trade in South Korea. In this list adapted from his book Justice Awakening: How You and Your Church Can Help End Human Trafficking, Byun shares six things churches can do to take on this growing crime commonly committed against women and children.

1. Unleash the Intercessors: “Ending human trafficking begins with prayer” writes Byun. Gather a team to pray for the breaking down of spiritual strongholds such as greed, lust and pride that are connected to human trafficking. The team can also pray for victims, perpetrators, and locations where trafficking occur.

2. Raise Awareness: There are still some who are unaware or have misconceptions about this modern day form of slavery, explains Byun. His church hosts an annual justice conference to raise awareness and equip churches to take on this issue. He encourages church members to talk about human trafficking to anyone are willing listen, be it at schools, churches and military bases.

3. Research and Investigate Trafficking Data: Every outreach needs good data to support their message. Byun urges churches to research trafficking cases in their cities, monitor trends and map key areas where trafficking occur.

4. Build Relationships and Networks: Byun writes “It is amazing how well networked traffickers are with other industries such as travel agents, border patrol, taxi drivers and even grocery store owners. If traffickers know how to network and work well with others, how much more does the church.” He urges churches to pool resources with the organizations in their community to end trafficking.

5. Be a Haven for Restoration and Healing: Byun said it important that both victims and agents of trafficking hear The Gospel declared and demonstrated. Churches can also help them heal physically, emotionally and spiritually through prayer, counseling and friendship.

6. Provide for Rescue and Prevention: Build relationships with community groups to identify victims and let them know that there are people ready to help them at a moment’s notice. Byun’s Ministry also teaches children and women how to protect themselves from falling into the hands of traffickers.

Eddie Byun is the lead pastor at Onnuri English ministry, the English-speaking congregation of Onnuri Community Church in Seoul, South Korea. He is also the founder and director of the Not for Sale Korea campaign. Learn more about Justice Awakening HERE

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