I’ve encountered a few folks who don’t realize that slavery still exists in the world. I’m not talking about figurative slavery–like every April 15th, here in the States. Rather, I’m talking about literal contemporary slavery, with kidnapping and a life spent in chains or locked up in a cell or prison-like dormitory every night. Slavery is still commonplace in North Africa, most notably in the Sahel. Wikipedia sums it up: “The [slavery] problem is most severe in the Sahel region (and to a lesser extent the Horn of Africa), along the racial boundary of Arabized Berbers in the north and blacks in the south. This concerns the Sahel states of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan in particular, continuing a centuries-old pattern of hereditary servitude going back to the Muslim conquests.” It is estimated that there are more than 200,000 slaves in Sudan, alone. Many of these slaves are Christian, and virtually all of their slave masters are Muslims.
You will have to look hard to find many mentions of slavery in the politically correct mainstream media, which is still dutifully chanting the “Islam is the religion of Peace” mantra. Most western liberal journalists have conveniently twisted the concept of modern slavery to focus almost entirely on sex slaves in Eastern Europe and in places like Thailand, while ignoring much more blatant slavery in North Africa. To be fair, it is much easier for a journalist to get a picture of a teenage prostitute on a street corner in Bangkok than it is for them to get a picture of slave toiling in field near Al-Fashir. But there still seems to be a lot of willful ignorance and misdirection. Thankfully, we do hear about what is going on in Sudan on CBN, from bloggers like Chuck Holton, and through other Christian media outlets.
How can you help stop modern-day slavery? Please support active resistance in the Sahel region. Just a few brave folks are liberating slaves and teaching villagers how to shoot, so that they can fight off would-be slaver kidnappers. One charitable group that will soon be doing firearms training on the border of South Sudan and Sudan is Christian Reformed Outreach, South Sudan (C.R.O.S.S.) I support and highly recommend their unique ministry. OBTW, they have a few volunteer support positions open, here in the United States that would be ideal for retirees.
Just buying up modern-day slaves and giving them their freedom hasn’t worked. The Islamic slavers simply go and kidnap more of them. The only way to effectively stop armed slaver kidnappers is to train and equip large numbers of armed free men in the border villages. In the modern context, you can “Just Say No” to slavery only with a battle rifle.
Addendum: Here is a recent headline: Sudan Intensifies Arrests, Deportations of Christians: Interrogations include threat to bury ministry group members alive. Please pray for the citizens of both South Sudan and Sudan. – J.W.R.