Not many people would consider the pope to be a fighter, but if it is against human trafficking, then you can count Pope Francis in.
The National Catholic Bishops Conference of Brazil this week launched their 51st annual Brotherhood Campaign. This year, the 2014 Brotherhood Campaign’s theme is “Brotherhood and Human Trafficking.”
The campaign aims to raise awareness about the injustice of human trafficking by educating Brazilians and training “pastoral agents” on how to confront trafficking in their communities. Modern-day slavery is an urgent issue that needs be addressed in Brazil. According to The Global Slavery Index, Brazil has approximately 200,000 to 220,000 people trapped in slavery today.
Pope Francis sent his encouragement via letter for an Ash Wednesday campaign kick-off, urging Brazilians in the next 40 days to try to be more aware of helping their fellow man to be free. He urged the mobilization of Brazilian society to “scourge human trafficking,” as it is “impossible to remain indifferent when one learns that there are human beings who are bought and sold like merchandise.”
The pope presented a call to action for people to make a “good examination of their conscience” by combating an injustice that permits humans to be seen as objects. He wrote that human dignity is the “same for all human beings: when I tread on the dignity of another, I tread on my own.”
Pope Francis encouraged Brazil to commit to the fight against human trafficking, because it is the “most effective base to re-establish human dignity.”
To find out more about modern-day slavery in Brazil, what FTS is doing about it, and what you can do to help end it, visit the Free the Slaves website.
To read the full translated text of Pope Francis’ letter to the 2014 Brotherhood Campaign click here.