Love Justice International’s mission to fight the world’s greatest injustices has led us to work to address issues of modern slavery and exploitation in 17 countries. Although slavery is illegal in every country in the world today, the harsh reality is that as many as 40 million people are still living in slavery due to ineffective enforcement of the law.
We would be remiss, however, if we did not acknowledge that these same problems exist here in the United States. Slavery was rooted even before the founding of our nation, and after it was abolished, it was replaced by convict leasing, Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, and other forms of legalized racism. The effects of these policies and practices have persisted to this day, and discrimination, police brutality, disenfranchisement, mass incarceration, and other forms of racism continue the dehumanization and oppression of Black people and other vulnerable communities. For those of us who have benefited from privilege built on the foundation of injustices like slavery and colonialism, we are responsible for righting the wrongs that our inherited privilege depends upon.
In its work, LJI has focused on the value of a single life: What would we do if someone we loved were subjected to the horrors of human trafficking? Similarly, we now ask ourselves: What would we do if someone we loved were subjected to the senseless violence that killed George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others whose lives were brutally taken due to personal and systemic racism?
We would grieve and cry out to God for those whom we have lost and for their families. With urgency we would advocate for justice, accountability, and systemic change on their behalf in the streets, at the ballot box, before our government representatives, and in every other venue where we will be heard. We would examine the ways that we have been complacent, listen to and amplify the voices of those who have long been in this fight, and educate ourselves and our communities about the scope of the problem and concrete steps we can take to build an equitable society. We would pray for God to bring justice, righteousness, and healing upon our nation.
Today, on Juneteenth, we commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. Yet we are also reminded that the battle is far from won, in the United States and for those still enslaved around the world. LJI calls all Christians, ourselves included, to condemn racism in all of its forms and to actively renew the fight for justice to protect the most vulnerable among us.
*All content, data, and statistics current at the date and time of publishing.