Christian involvement with advocacy and activism on human trafficking, an umbrella category that refers to the variety of processes by which individuals become enslaved, has proliferated during the last 15 years. This essay briefly introduces the topic of human trafficking, and provides an overview of three social movements that set important historical precedents for Christian anti-trafficking activism in the present: 19th century abolitionist movements, late 19th- and early 20th-century social purity movements, and the late 20th century religious freedom movement. Next, I explore two of the anti-trafficking frameworks that underlie much Christian anti-trafficking activism and advocacy in the U.S., noting their different assumptions about freedom and slavery. While Christians are largely of one mind that human trafficking is wrong, the strategies that they use and the ends they hope to accomplish are varied and even conflicting.
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