Freedom Sunday is a global movement of prayer, worship and action to address the crime of human trafficking. In the Anglican Church of Canada, Freedom Sunday shines light on the connections between human trafficking, labour exploitation, and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ persons. Everywhere, people of faith express compassion and solidarity with trafficked peoples through prayer, bible study and worship, and by making commitments to tackle these dehumanizing crimes. The Church’s observance of this day typically takes place near National Human Trafficking Awareness Day (held annually on February 22).
~ adapted from this page on the Anglican Church of Canada’s website
The following articles provide information and reflection on both historical and modern situations of human trafficking.
- “Freedom Sunday: February 19, 2023” was published in Ministry Matters on February 7, 2023. It is a reflection originally written for Freedom Sunday 2021 by Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls. References and links have been updated for 2023.
- “The dynamics of slavery and oppression; and a look at Exodus” was published in Ministry Matters on February 15, 2023. It is a reflection written by Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls and includes a short Bible study of Exodus 1 – 13. The beginning of her reflection includes her experiences when visiting Zanzibar, which was the hub of the East African slave trade for several centuries. She was there as part of a recent Anglican consultation on human trafficking and modern slavery sponsored by the United Society Partners in the Gospel. The article includes pictures to highlight how “visible symbols of that horrific practice are preserved in several ways to help visitors engage their hearts and minds with the practices of our ancestors as well as consider how those practices have been transformed and continue today and call for our attention.”
- This article, first published on February 7, 2023 on the United Society Partners in the Gospel website, reports on the International Consultation — Set my People Free: The Call of the Church against Human Trafficking — attended by 15 Primates and 29 delegates representing member churches from across the Anglican Communion. It was held in Dar Es Salaam and hosted by the Anglican Church of Tanzania.
- The final communique of the “International Consultation — Set my People Free: The Call of the Church against Human Trafficking” can be read here.
- “Human Trafficking” is a webpage on the Anglican Church of Canada website designed for people to learn more about human trafficking and how the Anglican Church of Canada is working with partners on this issue locally and globally.
A Prayer for the End of Human Trafficking
via the Clewer Initiative (a project of the Church of England)
God of freedom, beauty and truth,
we believe that your deepest desire, your most powerful energy,
is that all creation might know abundant life.
We raise our voices in anguished prayer for our sisters and brothers,
women and girls, men and boys, who are modern day slaves;
They are your beloved daughters and sons,
exploited sexually or forced to work because of human violence and greed.
Fill us with your holy anger and your sacred passion
that those who are trafficked might know healing and justice;
that traffickers will come to repentance and conversion;
that all of us might live in such a way
that others are not made to pay the price for our comfort and convenience.
Hasten the coming of the day when all people and our precious Earth itself will be treated,
not as a commodity, but as radiant images of your freedom, beauty and truth.
Amen. May it be so.