“Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.”
As we sing the classic carol Oh Holy Night, we are reminded of God’s concern for the oppressed and enslaved. Oppression as a result of unequal power relationships is not of God. Jesus came to usher in ‘shalom’, the beautifully rich word representing wholeness and wellbeing in every area of life, including healthy relationships.
Singing these lyrics is an affirmation of God’s desire for justice as evidenced in right relationship between people. We’re singing in faith that he is all powerful and well able to set the captive free and heal that which is broken. We trust that “He is reconciling all things to Himself” (Col 1:20) and we join in a tradition of Jesus followers desiring His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
The violence of human trafficking is a confronting example of distorted relationships and injustice. Southeast Asia is a hub for human trafficking, particularly sex and labour trafficking.
The A21 Thailand SAFE Program exists to bring freedom and healing to victims of trafficking in the Mekong region. The project was established in 2014 and involves identifying and repatriating victims of trafficking back to their home country. A21 Case Managers work with partner organisations to ensure that minors trafficked into Thailand from neighbouring countries are safely repatriated to their country of origin and connected to comprehensive services according to their identified needs. The project seeks the restoration of those who have been oppressed and pursues a world in which the injustice of slavery is no longer a reality.
When considering the slave as our brother and imagining an end to oppression, we’re also led to examine if there are ways in which our own decisions, words, and actions may be oppressing another, or perpetuating unequal or damaging relationships. In our globalised and hyper-connected world, we are unquestionably linked to our global neighbours. Our current systems of production benefit some while exploiting others. You have more power more than you may know, to use your purchasing decisions to stand for justice and freedom.
This Christmas, let’s consider what we can do to see an end to oppression and to promote freedom for all of our sisters and brothers in His name.
Wage Peace with us this Christmas. Go to hillsong.com/tpp to GIVE to the A21 Thailand SAFE Program.
Learn more about trafficking and ethical consumerism:
- The A21 Campaign
- Trafficking in Persons Report 2017
- Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How we can Fight It, David Batstone
- Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, Kevin Bales
- Ending Slavery: How we Free Today’s Slaves, Kevin Bales
- Behind the Barcode
- Shop Ethical!
- Good on You app