Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation

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Prayer Service for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking

January 28th, 2011

A prayer service for victims and survivors of human trafficking will be held on February 8th in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception near Catholic University (6pm). Prayer services will also be held at St. Mary’s Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Portland (6:30-7:30). February 8th is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, a victim of human trafficking. There’s a move under way in Oregon (USA) to seek Vatican approval for a patron saint of human trafficking and slavery victims.

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery that consists of the illegal trade of human beings through force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. Some people are trafficked for prostitution, pornography, and other forms of sexual exploitation. Some are trafficked for forced labor in agriculture, sweat shops, and domestic servitude. Some are trafficked for both.

The Catholic Bishops of the United States have condemned this practice in no uncertain terms. Pope John Paul II at one point declared that human trafficking “constitutes a shocking offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights.” With your help and through your prayers, we can help to put an end to this abomination.

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