Posted on : Tuesday October 9, 2012

Human Trafficking—reducing human beings to products, for labor, sex, or body parts—is the second largest and fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. Conservative estimates are 200-300,000 Americans–mostly women and children–are enslaved to commercial sexual exploitation with the average age of induction into forced prostitution at 11-13. This crime is no respecter of persons: it knows no limits of geography, heritage, gender, ethnicity, tradition, or class.

This is a national moral crisis that calls for the Faithful to get involved, says the Maryland Coalition, an organization which fights against human trafficking and is issuing a call for help.

On Nov. 1 at Heritage Christian Church in Severn, Md., the group is hosting The Church United ~ The Captives Freed, a gathering of leaders from all Christian denominations across Maryland to explore the systemic issues of domestic human trafficking and to define the Church’s role in ending modern day slavery.

The gathering will include state and national-level speakers who will inspire action. This is not a passive conference; participants will be expected to commit their hearts and their congregations to working on (at least one) of the following critical issues:

  • Ending Demand 
  • Advancing Justice
  • Protecting Children
  • Ministering to Victims

The Maryland Coalition will provide leaders with the background and the challenge so that they may lead efforts in their congregations.

WHEN: 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Thursday, November 1, 2012
WHERE: Heritage Christian Church, 8146 Quarterfield Rd., Severn, MD 21144

The work of the Maryland Coalition began in 2009, as a ministry extension of The Samaritan Women and with a focus on victim services. In 2010 they were designated by the Department of Health and Human Services as the Maryland Coalition and expanded their scope to include public awareness, care-giver training, and collaboration with law enforcement on prevention and intervention. They have a heart to unify the Church (and all persons) around a shared vision of eliminating slavery and exploitation in our lifetime.

The United States Federal law defines human trafficking as the recruiting, harboring, transporting, provisioning or obtaining of persons, by means of force, fraud or coercion, for purposes of labor or services or the removal of organs. If the victim is under eighteen years of age, the crime is automatically considered a severe form of human trafficking.

Trafficking has been identified as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It is second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable illegal industry worldwide.

Learn more at In addition, Jeanne Allert of the Maryland Coalition, presents a four-part video series, An Introduction to Human Trafficking, through the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s training site. These sessions provide a basic introduction to human trafficking with a particular emphasis on trafficking as it occurs domestically, the profile of the traffickers and the processes they use to recruit, train and turn-out their victims, victim identification, the church’s response (awareness, advocacy, prevention and ministry), and talking to youth about human trafficking.