From the Archbishop:
In 2007 we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Territories. It is disturbing to note, however, that there are an estimated twenty seven million slaves in the world today. As the Reverend Dr Kevin Giles points out, this is at least twice the number of slaves that existed in the Roman Empire.
As he further states, the research shows that slaves today are largely made up of sex workers: an estimated 2.4 million people who are ‘trafficked’ each year; an estimated 15 million bonded labourers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, who are slaves to their masters and have no rights; child soldiers, with an estimated 40,000 child captives in Uganda; and forced labour, where people are made to work in factories, on the land and in restaurants and hotels.
Just as Christians such as William Wilberforce and his Clapham Sect were determined to address the injustice of slavery in their day, so we in our day need to be equally committed to restoring the full dignity and worth of all human beings who, as we are told in the Book of Genesis, are made in the image and likeness of God. The Diocese expressed its wish to act against modern-day slavery via motions at Synod in June and November 2007.
I commend these resources for use by individuals, parishes, schools and agencies in the Diocese
I am grateful to Dr Giles for the thoughtful scholarship of his general notes and sermon outlines. I am also thankful to the Reverend Raffaella Pilz for her contribution of the Liturgy Resources; and finally, to Roscoe Howell, for his Synod background paper and for his passionate determination to increase awareness of this issue in the Diocese and beyond.
Grace and peace in Christ Jesus
The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier
Archbishop of Melbourne