Prayer walk moves through Santa Monica
Salvationists recognize International Day of Prayer Against Human Trafficking
Salvationists met in Santa Monica, Calif., for a prayer march as part of the International Day of Prayer Against Human Trafficking Sept. 27.
Participants wore yellow duct tape across their mouths and walked the streets in silence in solidarity with those trapped in human trafficking who have no voice. “It is a prophetic prayer action—a public statement about what is going on in the world,” said Major Danielle Strickland, territorial social justice secretary. “Prophets in the Bible, and Jesus, used this technique a lot.”
Led by Strickland and LA County Mission Strategist Major Stephen Court, participants walked through downtown Santa Monica, up Third Street Promenade, through Palisades Park and concluded at the Santa Monica Pier where they read a liturgy, “We Will Not Be Silent.”
“This global Salvation Army movement of prayer is an incredibly amazing thing for three reasons,” Strickland said. “First, we need God. Human trafficking is humanly impossible to stop, but what I understand about God is that nothing is impossible for him so we need to ask him for help. Second, it will save us from hypocrisy. We all agree we should do something about human trafficking. Paul spoke plainly about it in Romans 7 (the good I want to do, I don’t…), but prayer is something everyone can do—not just in a building but in the streets. Third, it will matter. One of the hardest things to do in life is to measure how things matter, but there is a way to measure what matters to God. He spells it out all over the Bible.”
Every year the last Sunday in September is set aside as the International Day of Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking to provide a focal point for prayer to support those caught up in trafficking and those working among the victims.
Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking), reportedly generating a profit of $32 billion every year. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today with between 14,500 and 17,500 people trafficked into the United States each year.
The Salvation Army in the United States and abroad is part of a reviving movement for the abolition of human trafficking and exploitation.
“God wants his people to ask for help. He wants his people to stop the hypocrisy and move to action,” Strickland said. “He wants to set the captives free.”