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How pornography is linked to the global sex-trafficking industryd-MinOut-HumanTrafficking-SoulsForSale

Human trafficking has been a significant problem for the better part of 30 years, yet it is only now gaining widespread recognition. I don’t think there is any explanation for this other than God’s decision to highlight this injustice in a pronounced wayThe fact is that God is a God of justice. Indeed, righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (see Ps. 89:14).

The Lord has ordained a day when He will judge the nations with righteousness and purge all injustice from the face of the earth. We long for that day and are to heed His call to walk in His ways, to pursue righteousness, to care for the poor and oppressed.

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God’s people are to cry out for justice for the needy and afflicted, for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven, for captives to be set free. Each week at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, Mo., we host prayer meetings that focus on asking for the Lord’s judgment to break in upon human trafficking rings and for the captive victims to be set free. But 
who are these ones?

While filming Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, a documentary on the global sex trade, my crew and I traveled to a hot spot for child sex tourism on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The drive took us down a bumpy dirt road. When the dust settled we saw a white man, in his late 40s, standing in front of a dilapidated shanty brothel. He was bartering for sex with a child. Incensed, we jumped out of our vehicle. He took off down the dirt street. We gave chase, catching up to him just as he saddled a moped taxi. I grabbed him by his shirt, stared straight into his eyes and demanded that he never return.

I was struck by his eyes, which seemed glossed with perversion. Even more arresting was the look of cowardice on his face. A barrage of questions assailed my mind. Why was the most lucrative business in this village child-sex tourism? Who was this man? Where did men like him come from, and what drove them to participate in the exploitation of children?

Then it hit me: This man didn’t just wake up and decide to fly to the other side of the world to buy a child for sex. We have to ask what kind of culture is producing men like him, eager to buy women and children for sex, contributing to a $32 billion human trafficking industry. To a significant extent, the answer is the $100 billion per year porn industry.

Of the men we talked with who had purchased a woman or child for sex, there wasn’t a single one who didn’t have a history of viewing pornography. Hypersexualized people create demand for illicit sex. Those who pay to view sex aren’t too far from buying sex. 

Western boys form an objectified view of females at an early age. Ninety percent will view pornography between the ages of 8 and 16, the average age of initial exposure being 11. When a young child’s fragile mind is exposed to pornography, his or her view of the opposite sex, sexual behavior and relationships is distorted. A woman becomes a thing to be conquered instead of a person to love.

After returning to America, I emailed our contact in Cambodia to see if he could send me any artifacts for our Exodus Cry human trafficking museum. He told me about some pajamas he had recovered in a brothel raid. They belonged to a 7-year-old girl. The only problem, he explained, was that they were still stained with blood from the abuse she had suffered. 

When men and women view pornography, they often fail to consider the ramifications. At the other end of the pornography industry are the blood-stained pajamas of a 7-year-old girl. Hers is the face of human trafficking.

Benji Nolot is president of Exodus Cry, an international anti-trafficking organization committed to abolishing modern-day slavery. He is also part of the leadership team at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo.

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