The third annual Justice Conference drawing attendees from nearly every state and dozens of countries around the world is officially underway this weekend in Philadelphia, where Christian organizers and speakers hope to promote discussion about social justice issues and equip participants to engage those areas theologically.
"The Justice Conference is interesting [because] we're not really cause-based, we really try and have a conversation about justice ... the theology of justice with the idea that hopefully, being able to speak to that and help people as they go into different causes, they're going to be able to do that from a different perspective," Ken Wytsma, who helped found The Justice Conference in 2010, told The Christian Post via phone Friday.
Wytsma is also a creative adviser for World Relief, president of Kilns College School of Theology and Mission in Oregon, and lead pastor of Antioch Church. more >>
The Christian relief organization World Vision applauded the U.S. Senate passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act on Tuesday, but said the bill remains at risk unless the House also acts.
"This was a time to lead in the fight against modern-day slavery and the U.S. Senate rose to the occasion," said Jesse Eaves, senior policy advisor for Child Protection at World Vision. "At a time when it seems impossible to move important legislation, the Senate vote not only gives hope to millions of exploited men, women, and children around the world, but also to the thousands of advocates around the country who have worked tirelessly to push this legislation through. We now implore the House to take notice and follow suit so this life-saving bill can renewed."
Officials at World Vision said that at a time when bi-partisanship appears non-existent, the Senate "came together" to pass the bill that helps combat human trafficking. "However, the success in the Senate is still marred by partisan gridlock in the House of Representatives, and World Vision calls on both parties to put politics aside and pass this crucial bipartisan bill before the end of this Congress." more >>
A Christian advocacy group against the commercial sex trade and human trafficking has launched a social media campaign to coincide with the millions of people who will be interacting online during this Sunday's Super Bowl in New Orleans.
Shared Hope International says there were 12.2 million Super Bowl related posts on social networking websites during and after the game. "As a matter of fact, the halftime show alone garnered 862,000 comments," officials stated.
The organization said that these types of large numbers related to the game means there is "a chance for us together to get in the game and create awareness for the fight against human trafficking, through online advocacy." more >>
WASHINGTON – Human trafficking, or sex slavery, is not just a problem for developing countries, but for the United States as well. Two activists, Hon. Linda Smith, founder and president of Shared Hope International, and Mark Blackwell, founder and president of Justice Ministries, brought attention to this issue and talked about how the church can help at a Wednesday Family Research Council symposium in Washington, D.C.
Smith began working on the sex trafficking issue when she was a congresswoman in the 1990s. After that, she used her business expertise to research sex trafficking and produce reports for the U.S. government. At first, her research was focused outside the United States. At international conferences, she recalled, people would ask her, "what about the United States?" So, she decided to produce a report on domestic sex trafficking and was astonished at what she found.
There are at least 100,000 American juveniles, at an average age of 13, who become victims of sex trafficking each year in the United States. Further, 77 percent of the women who are prostitutes today first entered the sex trade as a sex slave when they were a minor. more >>
Atlanta-based Pastor Louie Giglio, known for his highly popular student-oriented Passion conferences, recently sat down with CNN's Michael Holmes to discuss the conference's mission to end the slavery suffered by 27 million men, women, and children around the world.
Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Roswell, Ga., began the interview by describing the importance behind his Passion 2013 conference, which occurred at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta last week, boasting an attendance of 60,000 young Christians seeking to bring awareness to and effectively end modern-day slavery.
ATLANTA – Gary Haugen, president and CEO of International Justice Mission (IJM), told the 60,000+ Passion 2013 participants that 27 million people in slavery today is a massive problem of injustice in our world and that they must make this cause a priority, in what was both a plea for awareness and a challenge to take action Wednesday afternoon.
"As your brother in Christ I simply want to tell you that slavery is real, it's massive, it's brutal, and it's also in our own backyard," he said. "But you can be the generation that ends slavery in the world."
IJM is an international human rights agency that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery and oppression worldwide, and in recent years the Passion movement has partnered extensively with their global initiatives raising significant finances in the fight to free those enslaved today. more >>