Churches across the world this weekend will be partnering with International Justice Mission by hosting “Freedom Sunday” services to help raise awareness and inspire action in response to the millions of men, women, and children living in slavery worldwide.
Thousands of churches will take part in the fourth annual “Freedom Sunday” on Sept. 22, a day church leaders devote to speaking out about the issue in order to motivate congregants to take action so that the scourge of slavery is “ended in our lifetime.”
Congregants have not only been motivated through the years to become “freedom partners” and donate monthly to IJM — a global Christian NGO that seeks to eliminate the global slave trade — but they have also lobbied lawmakers to pass initiatives to curb the crisis.
According to the Global Slavery Index, as many as 40.3 million people — 71 percent of whom are female — are living in some form of modern-day slavery as of 2016. This includes 24.9 million people in forced labor and 15.4 million people in forced marriages.
When Freedom Sunday began in 2016, over 500 churches participated. But in just a few short years, Freedom Sunday has experienced staggering growth. As many as 18,000 churches from 52 countries participated in Freedom Sunday in 2018 and IJM is hoping to surpass that this weekend.
“IJM truly is working to create a movement to end slavery and that’s how Freedom Sunday was created,” IJM director of church mobilization Jocelyn White told The Christian Post.
“We truly believe that the end of slavery requires the action of the entire global Church. Freedom Sunday is the way that we invite churches across the globe and across denominations and across countries to join the movement of ending slavery.”
The explosive growth of Freedom Sunday in the last four years shows that the Church is “hungry for a way to share about the issue of slavery,” White contended.
“I think the fact that slavery still exists is more and more common knowledge across churches [today],” she stated. “They are just looking for a way to introduce that issue to their congregations and Freedom Sunday seems to be that perfect vehicle in which to do so.”
Freedom Sunday services are dedicated to preaching about God’s heart for justice and sharing about slavery. Each church is able to pick a region of the world from which they share a story of an IJM client who has been rescued from slavery.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith