Image Credit: Ville Miettinen
Freedom Day - 24-7PRAYER Joins Stop The Traffik - To honor and recognize the 200th anniversary of the "Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Act", a significant moment in the fight to end the evils of the transatlantic slave trade.
Freedom Day is 25 March 2007. The abolitionists of the 18th and 19th centuries generated a mass movement who campaigned for an end to slavery. In 2007, campaigners want to do the same-to inform people about the evil of Human Trafficking and to call for change that will prevent the sale of people, prosecute the traffickers and protect the victims.
Freedom Day is planning to be a key moment for STOP THE TRAFFIK and now 24-7PRAYER, the campaigning global coalition involving clubs, schools, faith groups, businesses and charities from around the world.
Freedom Day is a day to join in a prayer vigil. The plan is to organize one in every single county, constituency and city in the land, to 'give thanks' for William Wilberforce and all that God did 200 years ago, a prayer vigil to 'intercede' for specific situations and for a measurable positive change toward the reduction in the enterprise of Human Trafficking.
This from STOP THE TRAFFIK organizing partner 24-7PRAYER -
As you read this, a child somewhere is being bought and sold like a lump of meat and we know that God hears their cries and that He is calling us to take action.
24-7 Prayer has committed to support the STOP THE TRAFFIK campaign by holding a prayer vigil on the night of Saturday 24th March 2007 to pave the way for the celebration of Freedom Day on Sunday 25th. The 24-7 Prayer UK team is leading this prayer initiative, but people trafficking is a global issue and so we feel it is essential to get the support from the worldwide community.
With just days to go we need you to take action now. Go ahead and spread the word: book a venue for the vigil and look to mobilise local youth groups, churches, colleges and schools. You might like to run an entire week of non-stop prayer in the build up to Freedom Day?
We've been busy developing specific resources to help with the vigil, which can be downloaded from the website, but for the time being here are some answers to your initial questions:
Q. What is a Vigil?
A. A vigil is a period of wakefulness for a particular cause, generally conducted on the eve of a holy day.
Q. What is the aim of this particular Vigil?
A. We want to see the world alive and awake with prayer all night on 24th March 2007. Across the nation we will take time to 'lament' - to hear the cries that God hears 24/7, the cries of those in slavery.
Q. What's the format of the vigil?
A. You can either organize a 24 hour prayer vigil, or a night of prayer or just a straightforward evening prayer meeting on 24th March.
Q. What's the focus of the vigil?
A. Three P's: Prayer, Profile and Preparation.
Pray! We will take time to 'give thanks' for William Wilberforce and all that God did 200 years ago. We will take time to 'intercede' for specific situations and for measurable change. Wilberforce understood and demonstrated that the power-house of all lasting change is not politics but prayer. "Of all things," he said, "guard against neglecting God in the secret place of prayer."
Profile! We will seek to build awareness of the issues surrounding human trafficking in our localities through the STOP THE TRAFFIK Campaign.
Prepare! As well as praying about and profiling the issues, we see the vigil as a preparation for Freedom Day - March 25th 2007.
There are already vigils planned from Belfast to Ibiza (see vigil map), from small groups of friends meeting in their front room, to weeks of 24-7 prayer at Boiler Rooms. It does not matter how you want to do it, but God is calling us to pray! So visit the website, see where others are praying and register your own vigil.
“He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captive and release from darkness for the prisoners”. Isaiah 61.
To receive further updates, information and prayer requests over the coming months about supporting STOP THE TRAFFIK through prayer please email us.
Here are a few facts that you might find useful as you begin to get people aware of this issue, you can get loads more resources from the STOP THE TRAFFIK website:
At least 12.3 million people are victims of forced labour worldwide. Of these 2.4 million are as a result of human trafficking. [Source: International Labour Organisation, 2005]
600-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year. That means that for almost every minute of every day a person is enslaved somewhere in the world.
Approximately 80 per cent are women and girls. Up to 50% are minors. [US Department of State, 2005]
An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. [UNICEF, January 2003]
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do on Freedom Day it would be great if you could let the Stop The Traffik office know by emailing email@example.com.
Be sure to visit the new 24-7 Prayer/Stop The Traffik website for support and resources on setting up a vigil to pray in your community for an end to people trafficking.
"Wherever two or more are gathered in MY name" - proceed to intercede on behalf of those who do not have their freedom at the hands of others who do.