Amid the celebrations marking the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade, Viva is urging Christians across the UK to stand against the modern day slavery that affects millions of children today, by taking part in a global prayer event.
While Christians should recognise the extraordinary faith, persistence and achievements of William Wilberforce and his contemporaries, who together abolished the transatlantic slave trade, many people "do not realise that slavery is still very much alive today", Viva has said.
Viva is a Christian NGO working to connect and unite Christians worldwide working with children at risk, and is a founding member of the Stop The Traffik campaign, the joint initiative that is creating awareness and understanding of the worldwide problem of trafficking and other forms of slavery.
All around the world, projects that are part of Viva's local networks are working with children and teenagers who face the daily reality of slavery. Many are trapped in forced and bonded labour. Others have been trafficked across borders far from home. Today, consigned to life in brothels and factories, with little chance of escape, nearly nine million children around the world are enslaved.
Rather than simply accepting the situation, Viva is urging Christians across the country to stand against it, by uniting in prayer with millions around the world.
"The World Weekend of Prayer is an incredible opportunity to stand with millions of Christians around the world and pray for God's freedom and healing for many suffering and enslaved children," said Patrick McDonald, founder and CEO of Viva. "When Christians pray together, lives are transformed. Please don't miss this opportunity to make a difference."
Christians across the UK are preparing to join in the World Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk on 2-3 June 2007, when they will ask God to intervene in the lives of child slaves, as well as many other vulnerable children.
Facilitated by Viva, and in partnership with the Global Day of Prayer and other prayer movements, over two million Christians around the world are expected to pray for children at risk over the weekend. Many in the UK are organising special events and Sunday church services.
"We believe that modern day child slavery can be consigned to history, just like the transatlantic slave trade. But it needs people to take action. Be part of the World Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk. Together, our prayers will transform the lives of vulnerable children," a Viva release urged.
For more information, to order resources, or to take part in this year's World Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk, please check out www.viva.org/pray