For over a period of 400 years, more than 15 million were victims of the transatlantic slave trade. Fueled by economic ambitions, transatlantic slave trade contributed to what has been described as the largest and extensive forced migration in human history. The sheer scale of the slave trade and its devastation spread across generations and the geographic regions of Africa, South America, the Caribbean as well as the Pacific Islands.
The International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is commemorated on March 25th annually. It offers the opportunity to honor and remember those who suffered under the dehumanizing and brutal bondage of slavery. The legacy of slavery continues to have profound social and economic impact. The scars of deeply rooted racial discrimination, chronic poverty, systemic and institutionalized racism continues to affect people of African descent today.
As Christians, we raise our voices in lamentation for all who were forced to submit to the exploitive oppression of the transatlantic slave trade. We cannot turn a blind eye and ignore the many manifestations of modern-day slavery that plague our world today. There is an urgent need to be aware of the various ways we are liable for indirectly fueling the mechanisms of modern-day slavery. There is the need to call to attention the moral imperative to confront racism, xenophobia, inequality and modern manifestations of slavery. There is a need to call for political action to confront modern forms of slavery, such as human trafficking, forced indentured labor and child labor.