Atlanta, Super Bowl Weekend, And Modern Slavery
One of the largest and most widely celebrated major sports events in the United States and perhaps the world will take place this coming Sunday in Atlanta, Ga. At the same time one of the often overlooked and forgotten horrors of society worldwide will be bringing millions of dollars just in Atlanta. In 2014-15 Atlanta was ranked number one in the United States in human trafficking, in terms of money made, and also number of victims. This is due in large part to the large number of conventions and events that Atlanta attracts.
Why would this event in this city be of utmost importance to me? Obviously as a born again Christian I believe that it is wrong for humans to be forced to do anything against their will, especially to take woman and children and force them to commit sex acts against their will. Further the pornography industry has grown to alarming rate due to the internet. People involved in this industry usually are trapped for various reasons, including the promise to make big sums of money.
Likewise, prostitution is also considered by many a form of ‘slavery’ even though the women are paid, and often call it a career, they are trapped because they feel they can’t do anything else. Not to mention the shame and guilt that is heaped on by those that are over them and the mind games. According to the ministry Exodus Cry, “ Prostitution is primarily the lack of a choice among the most marginalized, defenseless, and vulnerable people in the world.” In other words those that are marginalized or defenseless and vulnerable are not really given a choice. The same could be said I think, for many caught up in the drug trade.
The fact is whether one is paid like a prostitute or forced to perform sex acts they are trapped and usually feel there is no other choice, or no real way out. Human trafficking is a highly organized and lucrative business generating over 150 billion USD annually and 2/3 of that from prostitution says the Exodus Cry website. What is a good definition of human trafficking? The most widely accepted definition which was adopted by the UN General ASsembly and accepted by 150 nations is known as the Palermo Protocol.
It defines Human Trafficking
“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”
There are some key words to ponder. Exploitation, abduction, and coercion are what really stick out for me. I think that is true for all forms of trafficking including pornograpic videos and images and yes, even strip bars as well. These women and sometimes men are being exploited even though they will often say, ‘I gotta make a buck”.
So, what is the big deal about the Super Bowl? We know that Atlanta is already one of the largest markets for human trafficking and sex slavery in the world. We also know that as much as people like sports and watching a ‘good game of football’, it is a lot more than just that. It is a big, big party where billions of dollars will be made from gambling and betting, not to mention the gains of the city of Atlanta, hotels, restaurants, and not to mention all of the parties that will be going on during the game. Many will buy snacks, party food, finger food, drinks, and all sorts of party favors. So, the Super Bowl is big business.
There is that hidden or forgotten business of men’s souls that will be overlooked. The real losers in this weekend’s events will be the victims who will be forced, coerced, extorted and held into all sorts of acts of bondage, mostly against their will. Fortunately there are a lot of prayer groups coming together for a concerted effort to cancel the enemy’s plans.
Does the Bible describe the events I have discussed? Does it speak of a system where men trade various things of this world including the souls of men? Yes, it most certainly does and I will look at that.
Revelation 18 talks about the coming fall of the ‘Babylon System’ or the world’s way to do things, Revelation 18:2 (ESV) and he (the angel) called out with a mighty voice , “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. 3- For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”
I wrote about the ‘kings of the earth’ in a previous article. But, clearly the rulers of nations and business, and media, and arts, sports are following after the Babylon system and have perverted so many things that God called good. There is nothing wrong with merchants profiting and making a living from selling honest goods and services. What is wrong is when they build their empire and never help anyone out or still never pay fair prices or wages or tip the scales unjustly. There are many good and honest people in all spheres of society, but there are so many built on indecency, dishonesty, and various forms of sordid gain. But our focus here is on something else that is being traded.
Vers 11-13 “ And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her (Babylon). Since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold,silver jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, bronze, iron, and marble cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil,flour wheat, cattle and sheep, horses, and chariots, and slaves, that is human souls.” ESV
Yes, slaves and human souls are mentioned as being traded as part of the world system. I am not talking just about slavery as people working in fields or building pharaoh’s buildings. No we are talking about women and children and sometimes men trapped as sex slaves. So what can be done? Laws exist or are being passed and introduced to limit, alter, or in many countries end sex slavery. Israel, one of the worst offenders, recently passed new legislation limiting prostitution or redefining it. Sweden has one of the harshest laws against prostitution. Many nations are now adopting similar laws to the ‘Swedish model”.
Passing laws is good but they must be enforced. Likewise what is to be done to the children and women who come out of a life of ‘sex slavery’? They are often very fragile and are not trusting of most people. Especially men. Then there are the pimps or slave masters themselves. Many of them are also trapped in a system. We need to pray for the souls of those in bondage and those forcing the bomdage. Pray for their salvation and for the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn in their lives. Pray that they are discipled in the truth of God’s word.
Jesus read Isaiah 61 in the synagogue, saying “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and opening up of prison to those that are bound.”
Isaiah 1:17 learn to do right, seek justice. Defend the oppressed…….
There are many verses about justice, but these are just a few. There are many ministries that focus on “human trafficking”. A few are Exodus Cry, Out of Darkness, CBN, The Hand of Hope, There are many but as you look for one to support prayerfully or financially or just for information be sure to check various sources. The key is we all need to become ABOLITIONISTS to END SEX Slavery not just in America but worldwide.
Isaiah 16:4b “ when the oppressor is no more, and destruction is ceased, and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land, 5- then a throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness.”
Jesus will establish His throne in Jerusalem and not only rule but judge and bring justice and righteousness. We pray in agreement for justice and righteousness to be established in these situations to end human trafficking in Atlanta and all over the world.