The over 270 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic militants Boko Haram have likely been raped and face a life of sexual slavery if not rescued, a human rights group in Africa said.
"We can safely assume that the abducted girls have been raped by their captors, if not worse," said Rona Peligal, deputy director for the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, according to FoxNews.com. "If they return home, they could be traumatized and stigmatized if they are known to be raped, pregnant or with child from their abductors. What happens if they're trafficked would likely pale by comparison."
The Nigerian girls, most of them Christians, were taken last from an all-girls school in Chibok, Borno State, last month, after armed Islamic militants stormed in with trucks. more >>
Did you ever imagine a hashtag could help spread the word about Christian persecution in a matter of hours? Neither did I.
The #BringBackOurGirls Twitter trend has garnered global media and government outcries after Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, kidnapped over 276 mostly Christian girls ages 14-18 in Nigeria. Unfortunately, young evangelicals (and the broader world) did not take notice of this tragedy because the girls were Christians, but because their captors intend to sell them into human trafficking. Something is very wrong with this "social justice" scenario.
We thank God for the attention this egregious offense has gained worldwide. And so the problem is not that young evangelicals focus heavily on injustices like human trafficking. The problem is that too many only focus on issues like human trafficking, because they are deemed politically correct. more >>
On Wednesday, May 7, history is being made. On behalf of the suffering churches of Egypt, Iraq and Syria, a broad array of American Christians, with a degree of unity rarely seen since the Council of Nicaea in 325, have joined together in a "pledge of solidarity and call to action."
Their action results from deepening concern about the "wave of persecution" in the region of Christianity's roots.
In the "We the People" tradition, the pledge is a grass roots effort, with input from many sources. It is being released publicly on Wednesday morning by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), but it does not have any particular institutional sponsor nor a political leader spearheading it. more >>
"I thought it only happened in poor countries," Sister Gladys Leigh told reporters. But, like too many people, the St. Louis nun underestimated the strong grip of sex trafficking. Now a volunteer at St. Louis's shelter for recovering sex slaves, Leigh and others know all too well the dark and horrifying world of forced prostitution. Over and over again, she's heard stories like Christine McDonald's. "I'd been branded like an animal, stabbed, held at gunpoint, chained to a leash in a closet. With a life like that," she said wistfully, "all you can do is pray for death."
Fortunately for Christine and thousands of girls like her, leaders are more committed than ever to answering a different prayer – for help. With sex trafficking exploding in the U.S. (the FBI calls it the fastest-growing business of organized crime), Congress is preparing to take on the $9.8 billion industry that's buying and selling tens of thousands of little girls a year. For events like the Super Bowl, some cities have seen as many as 10,000 children brought in before the game hoping to do business with men who have money to burn. Increasingly, the targets aren't just runaways or desperate women either. Young victims are lured away from the mall by men who say they want to buy them clothes or dinner. And they never come back.
Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) is hoping to change that by zeroing in on one of the roots of the problem: online advertising. She knows that if the government can cut off trade at its hub – the Internet, where girls are marketed like common merchandise – it'll go a long way to stopping the sales in and out of hotels. Under her bill, the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act, or SAVE, it would be a crime for any company to knowingly run ads, or profit from ads, that offer forced sex with a child. Based on her research, just one online service featured more than 2,800 little girls! more >>
The United States has offered to help the Nigerian government locate a large number of girls believed to have been abducted by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Thursday that the US has been and will continue to help Nigeria regarding the mass abduction and overall antiterrorism efforts.
NASHVILLE—Tony Merida, the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, spoke on the topic of human sexuality during the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's annual leadership summit that was held in Nashville last week.
Following his discussion on "the Gospel and human trafficking," Merida, an associate professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke with The Christian Post about the relationship between pornography and sex trafficking, explained why awareness is insufficient, and laid out how Christians can do more to fight "the darkest of sins."
The following is an edited transcript of the interview. more >>