As part of the international Year of Consecrated Life, the Catholic Religious in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei have ramped up their collaborative efforts to fight human trafficking.
Moving from raising awareness to urging action, the Religious priests, Sisters and Brothers are urging Catholics in their ministries to pray a Rosary Against Human Trafficking.
The special rosary prayers are based on the Sorrowful Mysteries, and can be downloaded from a new website created to spread the word about human trafficking, and to make the materials developed available to a wider audience. The website, http://saynotohumantrafficking.info, went live on July 30, UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
The Conference of Religious Major Superiors of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei (CRMS) una-nimously approved the rosary prayers and website during their meeting held at Majodi Centre in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, from July 20-22, 2015.
The rosary prayers and website are part of the CRMS’ ongoing commitment against human trafficking.
The group first took a stand against human trafficking in 2011 when they developed and distributed a set of five information leaflets on human trafficking during Advent. In 2013, they made human trafficking the focus of a meeting of the leaders of Religious orders in Southeast Asia.
“This is part of our prophetic stance as a voice for the voiceless,” said Franciscan Friar John Wong, CRMS President.
“In this Year of Consecrated Life, it is all the more important that Catholic Religious stand in solidarity with all who are suffering, and to speak out on behalf of the women, men and children who are caught up in the net of modern-day slavery.”
He noted that Pope Francis “has appealed to all men and women of good will not to turn away from the sufferings of our fellow human beings who are deprived of their freedom and dignity. We are adding our voice to his appeal by urging all Catholics in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, and beyond, to take some action against human trafficking.”
Praying the Rosary Against Human Trafficking is one of five actions the CRMS suggests in its new website. Others including signing a declaration to end slavery, raising awareness, and praying for victims and survivors.
The Franciscan Friars have also created a special rosary bracelet. Friar John said he hopes the Rosary Against Human Trafficking bracelet will help keep human trafficking in the minds of those who use it, and encourage people to say a rosary for all the men, women and children who have been trafficked.