21st Century Abolitionists

This is the 200 year anniversary of the abolition of slavery in England, thanks largely to the work of William Wilberforce. Wilberforce is to be remembered by the Church because it was Wilberforce’s faith in Christ that led to the belief that slavery was sinful and empowered his unrelenting work to end it. (His book, A Practical View of Christianity which explains his view of the need for religion to change society remains a true classic.) This accomplishment is being celebrated in two ways.
First, there is the new movie, Amazing Grace. This film dramatizes the story of Wilberforce and John Newton (famed pastor and author of the hymn, ‘Amazing Grace’) and the fight to end slavery in England. The talent is first-rate including such stars as Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, and Ioan Gruffudd leading the cast as Wilberforce. More info can be found at the movie’s website.
The second ‘event’ remembering the abolition of slavery is perhaps more important. There is a move of modern abolitionists trying to raise awareness of today’s slave trade. Yes, though officially abolished on two continents several decades ago, it is amazing to think that there are possibly more slaves today than ever before in the history of the modern world. The Amazing Change website explains how people can join in the effort to end slavery:

William Wilberforce’s work is far from finished. There are still an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today. Modern day slavery can come in many different forms. Entire families may work long days in rice-mills, brick kilns or on plantations. Children may be abducted and forced to fight in a rebel’s army. All of the people in these examples are slaves—they cannot come and go as they please and are often beaten or threatened with violence. They have no autonomy in their day-to-day lives and deserve the right to be free.
In conjunction with the release of the film Amazing Grace, we have launched a campaign to abolish modern day slavery and allow children and adults around the world to live in freedom. Through this campaign we hope to motivate students and communities to make their mark on history by speaking out against modern day slavery.

At theamazingchange.com, you’ll learn about the “two great objects” that were central to William Wilberforce’s Life:
– The abolition of slavery
– The reformation of manners (society)

Visit The Amazing Change and learn more about what efforts you can take to make these two great objects a part of your life. Educate yourself by reading stories about modern day slavery, learn how to start your own Clapham Circle, and sign the petition to end modern day slavery. Here you will find all the tools you need to take action against social injustice.
It seems to me that if we hold to the same kind of historic, Christian faith that Wilberfoce did, then we should be more than willing to continue on in the same kind of work that he did.
Check out the website, pray, and get involved for the good of humanity and the glory of God.

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