On Friday 8th November, newly appointed CEO, Peter Mihaere, launched Stand Against Slavery.
At a moving presentation at the Annual Conference of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand, Peter presented the need for New Zealand Baptists to start a Baptist Justice Initiative specifically focused on Slavery and the Slave Trade, commonly known as Human Trafficking.
Not only did he urge the audience of around 400 people to respond to the plight of the poor and the oppressed but he also challenged the Christian church that it was their mandate to respond.
Referencing the recently published Global Slavery Index, Peter shared that there are an estimated 30 million people enslaved in the world today. He cited a number of slavery scenarios around the world including New Zealand, and he called the audience to take a stand against slavery.
He outlined how Stand Against Slavery would provide a simple but clear interface between Baptist Churches and the world of slavery. Later he shared that the reach of Stand Against Slavery is for every New Zealander who is compelled to respond, not just the Church. Peter outlined five underlying principles that will shape the activity of Stand Against Slavery:
- We will be a voice for the enslaved.
- We will seek holistic freedom.
- We will strive to eliminate slavery demand.
- We will be local and global.
- We will pursue justice from a Christian worldview.
He declared that it’s time to rise up! It’s time to stand up!
After playing a powerful music video by Matt Redman and LZ7 called “Twenty Seven Million” (view here) during which much of the audience rose to their feet, Peter called for a response and over 200 people came forward to make a commitment to stand against slavery.
The full transcript of Peter’s speech can be found here – Transcript-SpeechFri8Nov2013.