WASHINGTON—The International Day ofPrayer for Victims of Human Trafficking will be observed on February 8th.Designated by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and theInternational Union of Superiors General as a time of remembrance for victimsand survivors of forced labor and commercial sex trafficking, the day coincideswith the feast of St. JosephineBakhita.
With an estimated over25 million women, children, and men trapped in modern-day slavery, February 8thoffers an opportunity to educate communities of faith about the prevalence of traffickingand to pray for its victims, who are often "hidden in plain sight". Bishop JoeVásquez of Austin, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB)Committee on Migration, notes "through prayer we grow in solidarity with thosethat have suffered this affront to human dignity. We demonstrate to survivorsthat they are not alone."
In honor of thisimportant day, the USCCB's Migration and Refugee Services, the Archdiocese ofWashington, the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, and TrinityWashington University will host an Inter-Religious PrayerService to remember victims and survivors of humantrafficking, and to reflect on how we can unite against modern-day slavery. Theservice will take place on February 8th at 6:30 PM at the Chapel ofTrinity University (125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC). To rsvp for an evening of prayer with representatives fromthe world's major religions, see Inter-Religious Service.
For help inhosting an awareness event or prayer service locally, visit Become a Shepherd for downloadable resources.
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe Vásquez,Committee on Migration, St. Josephine Bakhita, human trafficking,anti-trafficking, forced labor, modern-day slavery
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