Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Anti-Slavery Day: Remembering William Wilberforce

Karl Anton Hickel’s portrait of William Wilberforce (1759–1833). Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

For millions of people, regardless of whether they are child soldiers dragging their heavy rifles in the African bush, East European women forced into prostitution or little Asian kids drudging long hours in factories, slavery is an all-too-real part of their daily life.

The United Nations estimates that currently “21 million women, men and children are trapped in slavery all over the world.”

Slavery robs them of their human dignity.

Today, on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, it is good to remember that many of the pioneers in the struggle against enslaving other human beings were Christians.

Even some sceptics will acknowledge that it was the undaunted efforts of William Wilberforce (1759–1833), a Christian politician, that succeeded in putting an end to the slave trade in the British Empire in 1833.

Missionary doctor and explorer David Livingstone (1813 - 1873) fought against the slave trade that was rampant in Africa.

Following Jesus’ example, many Christians have sought to ease the plight of the oppressed and downtrodden. Seen from an evolutionary perspective, this is difficult to understand but it serves to show that the Christian gospel is a holistic phenomenon.


International Day for the Abolition of Slavery