European Baptists seek end to demand for prostitution

The European Baptist Federation's anti-trafficking group is working on a handbook that will give congregations across Europe ideas on how best to eradicate prostitution.

According to a report from the EBF last week, European Baptists at September's EBF Council session in Portugal reaffirmed their commitment to reducing demand for prostitutes among men in a bid to tackle the number of men, women and children being trafficked and sold into the illegal sex trade.

Swedish Baptist pastor and Chairman of the EBF anti-trafficking working group, Sven-Gunnar Liden, said that human trafficking "destroys women, children and men through ruthless exploitation" and is a "major topic" for Europe's churches.

He welcomed new legislation in Sweden that makes it illegal to solicit services from prostitutes and called on Baptist churches in Europe and in the Middle East to mark 18 October as a day of prayer that the Gospel of Jesus Christ might release its "healing and liberating" powers against human trafficking.

Christians are "wrestling against spiritual wickedness in high places", he added.

Liden warned, however, that it would take some time before the working group's efforts yielded tangible results.

"Everything of quality grows slowly," he said.

The National Council of Churches in Sweden has announced plans to intensify its efforts against human trafficking when the country takes over the EU presidency in 2009.

Liden said the Swedish presidency would be a special prayer concern for Christians in the country.

"Pray that we might succeed in reaching the politicians within the European Parliament with this concern," he said.