USA (MNN) — According to the International Justice Mission, human trafficking is the third most-profitable criminal activity in the world after drugs and weapons. Seldom do people stop to notice the implications of that statistic for the United States.
The number of trafficked victims in the U.S. is rising quickly. Ten years ago, there were approximately 50,000 slaves in the U.S. Now there are over 300,000. Modern day abolitionist and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship evangelist York Moore says people know about the issue, but few see it as a real problem.
"What's most concerning to me is not the proliferation of the persons involved or the profitability of this illegal enterprise," says Moore, "but specifically the increasing tolerance that I think I'm seeing in people."
Moore hints that the consumeristic mindset of many Americans may be a small factor in this relative indifference, as slave labor continues to be a means to make coveted products.
"I think we are increasingly willing to tolerate this concept of the 'commoditization' of people," says Moore. "None of us would say that we're FOR slavery, but in small ways I do think that the American public is giving way to the 'commoditization' of people."
In a blog post on his Web site, Moore notes that if this tolerance continues, the result in a couple of generations will be an absolute acceptance of modern day slavery.
The battle against such negligence, though, is really a spiritual one.
"We really don't believe, in InterVarsity, that you can change the world without Christ," explains Moore. "The human trafficking industry is so incredibly multidimensional, so incredibly robust, that it's not merely a financial problem or an academic problem or a medical problem or a problem of displaced people or corrupt government; fundamentally, it's a spiritual problem."
To combat this spiritual problem, InterVarsity has spent the last two years planning the "Price of Life" invitational. The campaign will address human trafficking from every angle to raise awareness, to change legislation, to raise funds for NGO's on the frontlines of this fight, and ultimately to bring hundreds to Christ.
"To change the hearts of women and men across the country, we are going to have to tap into God's spiritual power through the person of Christ," says Moore.
Visit our Web site again tomorrow to learn more about the "Price of Life" in part two of this series.