The world's largest evangelical organization announced on Monday that it has created a task force on human trafficking.
World Evangelical Alliance, which represents 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide, named Commissioner Christine MacMillan, who was the group's spokesperson on human trafficking, as head of the new task force to prevent and combat human trafficking.
The task force will be responsible for developing strategic and effective actions and tools that will help to equip local churches and their leaders to respond to victims of human trafficking.
"Looking at the atrocity of Human Trafficking may invoke lament where, 'tears flow like a river day and night' (Lamentations 2:18a)," said MacMillan, who also serves as the director of the International Social Justice Commission for The Salvation Army, in a statement. "Perhaps the task force is to release tears in God's church as the door to which we produce strategic interventions of determination."
Each year, an estimated 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders, according to the U.S. Department of State. Of these people, 70 percent of them are female and 50 percent are children. Most of these victims are forced into the sex trade.
Overall, there are an estimated 27 million modern-day slaves today around the world. In other words, there are more people held in slavery today than at any time during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
It is estimated that the human trafficking industry generates profits that exceed 12 billion dollars a year.
"It is a travesty that more than one person a minute is trafficked across borders every year," commented Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the WEA international director. "It is my hope and prayer that this WEA initiative will help mobilize and train our global community to respond in meaningful, effective and biblical ways. As Christ followers we must do all we can to help end the injustices of this worldwide calamity."
Other responsibilities of the new WEA task force include organizing events that raise awareness about the human trafficking problem to WEA members; creating community based projects to address intervention strategies in highly trafficked parts of the world; engaging with regional U.N. offices to build collaborative think tanks and actions; and empowering the local church to influence civil society in their community.