This page is provides some ways for churches to learn about modern slavery and exploitation, and take actions to bring this crime to an end. These are additional resources for church groups, ministers and church leadership.
What does modern day slavery look like around the world? Modern Slavery looks very different to the historical slavery that we are taught about in schools. Due to slavery being illegal, it has become a hidden crime in which victims are often hidden in plain sight throughout the UK.
Many people who are victims of modern slavery are often trafficked to other countries against their will. Human Trafficking is the illegal transportation of people against to other areas or countries. Often the people being trafficked are forced to do so, or have been manipulated to think they are going to find a better life. In reality when they arrive at the destination they will be forced into slavery and exploitation.
All survivors of modern slavery have a story. Hearing and learning from these stories is a vital way we can better understand the experience of what modern slavery survivors go through.
Why Christians Should be Concerned About Modern Slavery and Exploitation:
Reflection by Revd. David Hardman:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18)
Visit the museum at Wesley’s Chapel and you will be directed towards the ‘pen’ that John Wesley used to write his last letter. You will be informed that this letter was to William Wilberforce encouraging the young MP to take action to oppose the slave trade. Wesley wrote in the letter that the slave trade was an ‘execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature.’ Modern slavery is as much a scandal and a sin as the slave trade. Our Methodist heritage is to respond to the prompting of God’s Spirit. To find release for those held against their will, often in plain sight of the world, and freedom for those who are trafficked. God’s calling and challenge to us is to continue the work begun by Jesus. These resources are offered to help us. That through our love, service and action we will be able to say, with, and in, Jesus; ‘Today the scripture is fulfilled’.
With an issue as horrific as modern slavery it is difficult to know how we, as Christians, should respond. BMS World Mission is a Christian Charity working to end modern slavery, through working with local churches.
Become a Church partner with Hope For Justice –Hope for Justice is a Christian Anti-Slavery Charity that supports churches in fighting modern slavery and exploitation around the world.
A huge part of ending Modern Slavery comes from raising awareness of the issue to educate people on where exploitation is taking place and how they can work to end it. To increase awareness you could start, or join a group, to raise awareness of modern slavery and make a change in your community. The Charity “Hope for Justice” has a range of resources on how to start a group. You can also receive monthly prayer updates.
Actions Your Church Can Take:
Church congregations are very, very good at drinking tea. However, the tea industry is one of the biggest users of slave labour in the world. If you want to ensure that the tea you drink within your church is ‘slave free’ and not made using the exploitation of workers, check out the information below from Stop The Traffik.
An area where modern slavery and exploitation is common is the farming industry. Due to this lots of the food we eat and drink may have been produced (in whole or in part) by people being exploited as slaves. Two of the biggest industries where this exploitation takes place is in Chocolate and Tea production. According to Stop the Traffik “It is estimated that over 2.1 million children in West Africa alone are employed on cocoa plantations, performing the backbreaking and hazardous job of harvesting cocoa beans.” Stop the Traffik have campaigns to help you ensure that you are not supporting exploitation when you buy tea or coffee.
Book a Speaker:
If you would like to learn more about Modern Slavery and how we can work to end it, you can book a speaker to give a presentation on Modern Slavery. This could be a way for your family and friends to learn more about the issue and how to tackle it.
Host an Event:
If you would like to do more as a congregation to end modern slavery and exploitation you could host an event. For example a “Slave Free Tea and Chocolate Party”. This could be a chance to raise awareness and understanding of modern slavery and exploitation, while enjoying a delicious tea party that you know is using products that have not been created via exploitation.
These phone applications are a way you can get involved in ending modern slavery. They are a way for you to easily and safely report if you think someone may be being exploited and/or trapped in modern slavery. We encourage you to tell your congregations about the APP’s to raise awareness of modern slavery and bring it to an end.
The Safe Car Wash APP:
Download the Safe Car Wash app onto your phone and use it every time you go to a hand car wash. The app will take you through the most obvious indicators of modern slavery, asking you questions to determine whether those signs are present or not. If there is a high likelihood of modern slavery in the car wash, you will be prompted to call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. Remember, if someone is in immediate danger please call 999 and report it to the police.
Download the Safe Car Wash APP on Google Play Store.
The Stop APP: The STOP APP is the first global app available in multiple languages to report any suspicion or incident of human trafficking and modern slavery.
It’s completely anonymous, confidential and secure. Your report will be combined with others to help build the bigger picture of global human trafficking hotspots and trends. This allows for human trafficking to be disrupted and for vulnerable communities to be supported.
Download the Stop APP on the Google Play Store.
Sunday Service Inspiration – Resources for Preachers and Church Leaders.
If you are a preacher or church leader who wants to raise awareness of the issue of Modern Slavery and exploitation within your congregation, the Sunday sermon can be a brilliant place to start the conversation. The Clewer Institute has produced Sunday Service Sermon Inspiration for prayer, preaching and reflection. Clewer has also produced prayer resources for congregations, that can be used in services a to guide prayer for the congregation on the topic of Modern Slavery.
We also encourage you to look at the Political Actions your Church can take to help end modern slavery. For example in supporting the
Victim Support Bill, a new law working to better support survivors of Modern Slavery. Could you encourage your congregation to write to your MP’s or invite them for a visit? Please see our Meet your MP resources to find out more in how you can, as a church community, start a conversation with your MP about the things that matter to you.
All the resources within this page can be utilised by Church Groups such as House/Small Groups and Classes. However, if you are looking for specific resources for Church Groups to utilise in understanding, praying for, and fighting against modern slavery, please see here for a resource from the Clewer Institute designed to be used by Church Groups.
There are also additional Prayer Resources for individual and group prayer and reflection.
- Exploring modern slavery – Four bible Studies for House Groups and Classes from the Clewer Initiative.
- Credit card sized “Key signs of Modern Slavery” created by the Clewer Institute. It includes a bible verse and a number to contact if you suspect someone is being exploited – such a prayer card could be placed on chairs in church, or handed out at church meetings, classes and House Groups.