Multiply Justice

‘And they were not afraid to die’

isis-killing-iraq-crisisMark Kelly writes at kainos:

My mind focused in prayer this morning on the Christians in Iraq and Syria who have been suffering at the hands of infidels — evil, ruthless men who blaspheme the name of Abraham’s God by brutalitizing innocents. My heart breaks for every woman and girl kidnapped to serve as slaves to these wicked men. My anger burns for men and boys executed simply because they maintain a Christian home. I am devastated for families who have had to abandon all their worldly possessions and flee for their lives to places where they will have no way to provide for themselves. I grieve for Christians who live under this fascist perversion of Islam, afraid to publicly acknowledge their Lord. I am filled with pride for Christians who have refused to deny Jesus and met bravely death with his peace in their hearts.

You can make a difference
Rep. Frank Wolf is speaking up in the halls of power for these powerless one. Encourage him.
Learn more about the persecution of Christians at the ERLC website and in our archives.
Help Baptist Global Response provide survival supplies for refugees driven out by the Middle East crisis.

Cross-posted on kainos

Virginity for sale: Cambodia

Abigail Haworth writes for The Guardian:

Cambodia: Virgin tradeThree years ago, when Vannith Uy arrived in Phnom Penh from the countryside, she wanted to open a hair and beauty salon on proper premises in the Cambodian capital. “But my family could find only dirty jobs,” she says. “I wanted a place where my daughter and I could work together.” So Uy did something she describes as her “only choice”: she sold her 18-year-old daughter Chamnan’s virginity to a wealthy local man for £900.

The man was a police general who frequented the beer garden where Uy worked as a kitchen help, she says. He bought Chamnan for six days and nights. He installed her in a hotel room on Phnom Penh’s outskirts and visited her many times to have sex. She was allowed to call her mother once a day. By the third day, Uy recalls, Chamnan was so weak and distressed that the man summoned a doctor on his payroll to give her painkillers and a vitamin shot “so she had the strength to keep going until the end of the week”.

Uy received cash payment in full, but her planned salon never materialised. The money that had represented a life-changing sum – equivalent to around five years’ salary in her home village in Kandal province – soon trickled away. After she’d paid her sick husband’s medical bills, given cash to her ageing parents and bought Chamnan a gold necklace to “raise her spirits”, there wasn’t much left. Uy had greatly underestimated the task of clawing her way out of hardship; her stricken expression as she talks suggests she also miscalculated the personal costs of selling her daughter’s body to try.

Where to begin unravelling the shadowy, painful layers of Uy and Chamnan’s story? It is not straightforward. Often overlooked by more dramatic tales of enslavement in brothels, the trade in virgins is one of the most endemic forms of sexual exploitation in Cambodia. It is a market sustained by severe poverty and ingrained gender inequality. Its clients are influential Cambodian men and other members of Asia’s elite who enjoy total impunity from a corrupt justice system. Most misunderstood of all, many of those involved in the transactions are not hardcore criminals. They are mothers, fathers, friends and neighbours.

Cambodia is far from the only place where women and girls are treated as commodities. But in this country of 15 million people, the demand for virgins is big business that thrives due to cultural myth and other local factors. “Many Asian men, especially those over 50, believe sex with virgins gives them magical powers to stay young and ward off illness,” says Chhiv Kek Pung, president of Cambodia’s leading human rights organisation, Licadho. “There’s a steady supply of destitute families for the trade to prey on here, and the rule of law is very weak.”

Read the rest of this revealing article by clicking here.

She offered the homeless guy a biscuit … and they talked

At its most basic, multiplying justice is a matter of obeying the Spirit’s prompts and reaching out in compassion to someone in need. Anna Keller writes at The Alabama Baptist about one woman’s simple gesture that transformed a homeless man’s life — and her own:

helping_benny_2BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Brittney Hanvey says she doesn’t quite know what made her pull over to the side of the road back in January to offer a homeless man a biscuit, but that seemingly small act set off a chain of events that are nothing short of miraculous.

Hanvey, a member of First Baptist Church, Montgomery, is a pharmaceutical sales representative, so she spends a lot of time driving around to various doctors’ offices. Every two weeks she visits the same doctor at Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham and recognized the same homeless man on the street visit after visit.

“There was always this same man out there, wearing a raggedy T-shirt and pants,” Hanvey recalled. “I was always told not to stop for people by the side of the road, because you couldn’t tell if they just wanted drugs.”

But, Hanvey said, one frigid January morning she felt compelled to stop and help the man.

“I was taking a doctor some breakfast, so I had some biscuits in my car, and I had a blanket for some reason too,” she said. “So I stopped and offered him a biscuit and the blanket, and he took both and asked me if I minded sitting and talking for a minute.”

As it turned out, the doctor saw Brittney stop and talk with the man that cold January day. He also was moved to reach out — and offered him a job. The rest of the story is amazing!

Read the rest by clicking here.

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