Nefarious: Merchant of Souls

7 Jul

Last night I saw the multi-award winning documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. Hard-hitting doesn’t cover it. I thought I knew quite a lot about prostitution and people trafficking (I even touch on it in my novel Leda), but this was an eye-opener. The statistics were truly horrifying, although of course statistics can be endlessly debated. What really got to me, though, and to the rest of the audience, was the stories of real life victims of the sex trade, in their own words. That, and the footage of happy, smiling children in South East Asia at a rescue centre – this was them leaving the sex industry at the age of ten or twelve. It’s the kind of thing that makes you shake with rage.

At times during the film I felt really hopeless, the problem seems so huge. Fortunately, as the film makes clear, there is hope. People do escape. It is even possible to combat sex trafficking as a nation. If Sweden can do it, so can we – and in fact MSP Rhoda Grant is trying to. (This fact is not in the documentary, but was mentioned afterwards by representatives of Exodus Cry.)

Exodus Cry is the organisation behind Nefarious, and they are unashamedly a Christian organisation who are doing what they do (combatting slavery) because of their Christian beliefs. They get some stick for that from people who think that if you’re doing anything because you’re a Christian then you’re insincere or have an ulterior motive. I would say, instead, that if your Christian faith doesn’t move you to help others (to “love your neighbour”, as Jesus put it) then there’s something deeply wrong.

So if you do care about sex slavery, what can you do?

1) Try and see the film Nefarious, if you can. You can buy the DVD from their website or even arrange a showing near you.

2) Write to your MSP (if in Scotland) to support Rhoda Grant’s campaign, or to your MP/ local politician to ask them to support something similar in your country.

3) Pray. I know, lots of people reading this will not be Christians and will think that praying is about as much use as thinking happy thoughts about fairies and unicorns. However, I am still going to recommend it as a course of action because in my experience, and the experience of many people I know, it’s the most useful thing you can do, especially when faced with such an overwhelming problem.

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