This week, celebrities, athletes and faith leaders alike painted bold red X’s on their hands as they took part in the END IT Movement, a global campaign to raise awareness about the scourge of modern-day slavery.
To that end, hundreds of thousands of these ‘Freedom Fighters’ took part in Thursday’s seventh annual Shine A Light On Slavery Day.
“The END IT Movement has built a global network of Freedom Fighters from all walks of life who are inspiring people to raise their voices and advocate for action in the fight against slavery,” END IT Movement Campaign Director Jenni Brown explained in a press release.
“With the momentum we’ve garnered year after year, we continue to see awareness of these inhumane crimes grow,” she said. “This awareness leads to action where we continue to witness laws changing, bills being passed, and more resources becoming available to not only shine a light on slavery, but also put an end to it.”
Currently, roughly 40.31 million men, women and children worldwide have fallen prey to the slave trade, which takes various forms including bonded labor, forced labor and sex trafficking.
Gary Haugen, International Justice Mission CEO, addressed the matter during Thursday morning’s National Prayer Breakfast.
“Modern slavery is as vast and as brutal as it has ever been, but one thing is new: we now know how to stop it for good,” said Haugen, who Fox News reports was wearing a red X pin.
Among those taking part in the END IT Movement are the next generation of faith leaders, like Alec Bevere, the son of Christian authors John and Lisa Bevere.
“My beautiful daughter-in-love Christian & son Alec are sporting red Xs & T-shirts from #enditmovement,” Lisa Bevere wrote in an Instagram post. “It’s long past time that we found our voice & spoke up for those enslaved to silence! The sad reality is there are more slaves today than at any other point in history. It’s not enough to CRY it’s time to ACT! Together we can #EndIt thank you @shelleygiglio & @louiegiglio for spear heading this!”
Also calling attention to the cause is Sadie Robertson, who tweeted, “Let’s shine light together so people can be free X #enditmovement.”
Let’s shine light together so people can be free #enditmovement pic.twitter.com/BUvMaeOmZh
— Sadie Robertson (@sadierob) February 8, 2019
Organizers of the END IT Movement applauded her efforts while calling others to step up as well.
“In order to tell the world, we need everyone to tell THEIR world! Thank YOU @sadierob for giving a VOICE to the voiceless and encouraging others to get involved to END IT. Let’s continue to draw those Red Xs and SHINE A LIGHT!” they tweeted Thursday.
In order to tell the world, we need everyone to tell THEIR world!
Thank YOU @sadierob for giving a VOICE to the voiceless and encouraging others to get involved to END IT.
Let’s continue to draw those Red ❌s and SHINE A LIGHT!
— END IT Movement (@enditmovement) February 7, 2019
Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, President Donald Trump said of Haugen and others involved in the campaign, “You are truly doing the Lord’s work, rescuing people from the bondage of human trafficking.”
“And as you know our administration is doing everything we can to make your work easier…Together, we will end the scourge of modern-day slavery,” he said.