Tomorrow is the feast of St Bakhita, taken by Arab slavers in 1877 at the age of 7, although thanks to people like William Wilberforce slavery was abolished in most of the British Empire in 1833. Nearly two hundred years later his great, great grandson, Fr Gerald Wilberforce has this to say: What would he think about children as young as nine who are asked to steal and pickpocket; what would he say about young men who are enslaved in cannabis factories; what about people who are asked to work as domestic slaves in people’s homes; and young girls brought to this country and sold for sex; and what about those people who do escape but nobody believes them. I think I know what he would have said had been alive today: “Haven’t we abolished slavery? Why is it still going on?” The truth is that slavery still exists and to a large extent we are all complicit in this. We are all part of the same society and we are all personally responsible. It’s time this stopped for good. Together we can end modern slavery.
Tomorrow on St Bakhita’s feast day and during this Year of Mercy let us remember that there are more slaves in the world today than at any time in human history and pray for its end.
- Pray for those forced into slavery to grow our food and make our clothes
- Pray that retail managers become aware of the slave issues in their supply chains and boldly make necessary changes
- Pray for the families who are searching for their lost daughters.
- Pray for the millions of families in India trapped in bonded slavery.
- Pray for the men and women who care for and restore those who have been rescued from slavery.
- Pray for those rescued from slavery that they may heal from years of abuse
- Pray for the church to respond to Pope Frances’ call to rise up and lead in the fight against modern slavery
- Pray that we may become aware of modern day slavery and learn the signs to help the Police identify potential victims.
- Pray that we may come to understand our complicity in buying the goods produced by this evil trade
- Pray that together we can bring an end to modern slavery.
Anthony Brown , Medaille Trust