World religions against human trafficking and slavery:
declaration 2014 and way forward
Abuja (Nigeria), International Conference:
Human trafficking within and from Africa, 5-7 September 2016
by Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo
I would like to thank the organisers of this very important meeting in this very important City of Abuja, capital of Nigeria. With a view to promoting action as opposed to purely ‘theoretical’ and academic considerations, which the reflective philosophical tradition often favours, I would like to propose an action plan in twenty statements, which is, of course, a work in progress.
1. Saint Paul, among others, says ‘with freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage’ - Τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἡμᾶς Χριστὸς ἠλευθέρωσεν· στήκετε οὖν καὶ μὴ πάλιν ζυγῷ δουλείας ἐνέχεσθε (Gl, 5:1). So Christ performs grace and freedom to human beings, which neither the Greeks, nor the Romans, nor the Jews, nor anyone in America, Asia or Africa had. In those times, many knew that “one” man could be free, such as a tyrant or the chief of a tribe. Or they knew that “many” were free, such as the citizens by birth and philosophers in Ancient Greece or in Ancient Rome, but the idea that “all” men and women were free by their essence comes from the grace and the message of Christ. All human beings are destined to the utmost grace and freedom and the Holy Trinity lives inside each human being through the grace of Christ and the collaboration of everyone.
2. For this reason, the abolition of slavery and the achievement of freedom throughout the course of history were primarily the work of the Spirit of Christ or of the Holy Spirit, with the collaboration of the saints and good men and women of all times and places after Jesus Christ.
3. Today, the “globalization of indifference” has made the new forms of slavery such as human trafficking, forced labour, prostitution and organized crime pervasive. They are widespread all over the world. For Pope Benedict and Pope Francis they are crimes against humanity and must be recognised as such.
4. In general, religions used to be the soul of culture from the historical, phenomenological and philosophical point of view. Some universal religions still have influence in today’s globalised world. They are Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and a few others.
5. Today we can celebrate a new synergy between the spirit of the United Nations and other international organisations, and the spirit of Religions, as is testified also by this meeting.
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