Confronting the Darkness: Combating Human Trafficking with Faith in Jesus

by Donavon L Riley


In a world filled with injustices and evils, few things are as heinous and spiritually abhorrent as human trafficking. It is a grievous crime that inflicts unimaginable suffering upon its victims, robbing them of their freedom, dignity, and hope. Therefore, it is imperative for people of faith to face it, confront it, and fight against it with God’s Word, in faith, invoking the name of Jesus.

The Biblical Foundation Against Injustice

The Bible, as a source of moral and ethical guidance, provides a strong foundation for confronting and fighting against human trafficking. In the book of Isaiah, we find a clear mandate to “learn to do right; seek justice, defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17). Human trafficking is a gross injustice that oppresses the vulnerable, and God’s Word calls us to stand against such oppression.

Moreover, Proverbs 31:8-9 instructs us to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Human trafficking victims often suffer in silence, unable to advocate for themselves. It is our divine calling as people who God has rescued from the clutches of the spiritual forces of evil to be their voice and champion their cause.

The Spiritual Darkness of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is not just a physical and social issue; it is deeply spiritual as well. It represents a manifestation of the darkest forces of evil in our world. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Human trafficking epitomizes this spiritual battle, as it involves the exploitation and degradation of human beings created in the image of God, and redeemed by Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection.

The Power of Faith and Prayer

When confronting the spiritual darkness of human trafficking, faith plays a pivotal role. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It is faith that strengthens us to believe that our efforts, grounded in God’s Word, can bring about change even in the face of seemingly insurmountable evil.

In Matthew 17:20, Jesus teaches that with faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains. We can apply this assertion to the fight against human trafficking. Faith, even as small as a mustard seed, can move the mountains of oppression, exploitation, and darkness that shroud this crime.

Moreover, prayer is a potent weapon in our arsenal against human trafficking. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Through prayer, we can seek God’s guidance, intercede for victims, and ask for His intervention in bringing traffickers to justice.

The Name of Jesus: A Mighty Weapon

The name of Jesus holds immeasurable power. Philippians 2:9-10 declares, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” When we invoke the name of Jesus in our fight against human trafficking, we call upon the highest authority in the universe.

In Luke 10:17, Jesus gave His disciples authority over the enemy’s forces, saying, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Human traffickers are agents of evil, but in the name of Jesus, we have been given the authority to confront and overcome their wicked deeds.

A Call to Action

As people of faith, we are not called to be passive observers of the world’s injustices. James 2:17 reminds us, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Our faith compels us to take action against human trafficking, to advocate for policy changes, to support organizations that rescue and rehabilitate victims, and to be vigilant in our communities.

We must also remember the words of Micah 6:8, which urge us to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Acting justly means standing against human trafficking and working to end it. Loving mercy means extending compassion and support to survivors. Walking humbly means recognizing that this battle is not ours alone but God’s, and we are His instruments of change.

Seek Justice…

Human trafficking is an evil that should awaken the righteous indignation of every person of faith. It is a spiritual darkness that must be confronted with the light of God’s Word, in faith, invoking the name of Jesus. As we heed the biblical call to seek justice, defend the oppressed, and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, we become vessels of God’s love and agents of His redemption in a broken world. So get up, stand fast, unite in faith, armed with the power of prayer and the authority of Jesus’ name, to combat this grave evil and bring hope and healing to its victims.

By Donovan Riley

Donavon Riley is a Lutheran pastor, conference speaker, author, and contributing writer for 1517. He is also a co-host of Banned Books and Warrior Priest podcasts. He is the author of the book, "Crucifying Religion” and “The Withertongue Emails.” He is also a contributing author to "The Sinner/Saint Devotional: 60 Days in the Psalms" and "Theology of the Cross".

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