As unaccompanied migrant children continue to stream across the U.S.-Mexican border in what’s been called a humanitarian crisis, attention is being drawn again to the global issue of human trafficking. Analysts estimate that as many as 27 million people are trafficked globally each year, many falling prey as they try to escape the same kinds of desperate circumstances the migrant children face in their home countries. People of faith are working to combat trafficking and help its victims.
Religious freedom has become the broad catchphrase in today’s biggest culture war issues. The Obama administration’s contraception mandate is the latest example, as the Supreme Court ruled June 30 in favor of Hobby Lobby and another corporation that wanted to opt out of birth control coverage.
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is based in Louisville, Ky., and defines itself as an evangelical Christian organization formed in response to the perceived threat of feminism. Its mission statement reads, in part, “men and women are equal in the image of God, but maintain complementary differences in role and function. In the home, men lovingly are to lead their wives and family as women intelligently are to submit to the leadership of their husbands. In the church, while men and women share equally in the blessings of salvation, some governing and teaching roles are restricted to men.”
The WomanSpirit Center of Bellevue, Wash., is an interfaith community of women that offers retreats, workshops and activities, many of which include unusual forms of prayer, such as hiking, beachcombing, journaling, centering prayer and meditation.