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February 5th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

The new Christian abolition movement

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Greensboro, North Carolina (CNN) —The truck-stop hooker is no Julia Roberts, the trucker in the cab with her no Richard Gere, and this truck stop off the highway could not be any farther from Beverly Hills, the staging ground for “Pretty Woman.”

The woman sports baggy shorts, a white T-shirt and frizzy hair. Her fat middle-aged pimp sits in a beat up red Honda, watching as his “lot lizard” moves from truck to truck, in broad daylight.  If this pimp has a cane it is for substance, not style.

She moves through the parking lot, occasionally opening a cab’s passenger-side door and climbing in.

The trucker and hooker disappear in the back for 10 minutes.

Danielle Mitchell watches from the other end of the parking lot and shakes her head.

“We know from talking to other victims and other agencies that girls are taken to truck stops and they’re actually traded,” she says, sitting in her car, a shiny silver sport utility vehicle, keeping a healthy 50-yard distance from the pimp.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Mitchell is North Carolina human trafficking manager for World Relief.  World Relief is a Christian nonprofit attached to the National Association of Evangelicals and is best known for its efforts to combat global hunger and respond to disasters around the world.

Mitchell is trying to tackle a disaster in her home state.   And she is not alone.

Motivated in large part by their religious traditions of protecting the vulnerable and serving “the least of these,” as Jesus instructed his followers to do in the Gospel of Matthew, World Relief and other Christian agencies like the Salvation Army are stepping up efforts and working with law enforcement to stem the flow of human trafficking, which includes sex trafficking and labor trafficking.

“Jesus didn’t just go around telling people about himself.  He also healed the blind and healed the brokenhearted, he freed captives, and I think that it would be ridiculous to walk up to someone who is hurting and tell them, ‘Let me tell you about the Gospel,’ and then walk away while they’re still hurting,” Mitchell says.

In North Carolina, the result of those efforts can be seen in the number of victims of human trafficking being referred to World Relief for services, up 700% in 2011, Mitchell says.

“It’s not that North Carolina is all of a sudden trafficking more people,” Mitchell says. “It’s that we know what to look for and we’re actually identifying and rescuing them.”

Truck stops and sweet potatoes

North Carolina’s rich soil makes it an agricultural hub. It produces more sweet potatoes than anywhere else in the country.  The state acts as a crossroads for three major interstate highways. The mix of accessibility and low-paying farm jobs make a good working environment for traffickers, Mitchell says.

This truck stop is the type you think twice about.  It’s grimy and run down.

How badly do I really have to use the bathroom?  I bet I could hold out for another 12 miles.  That kind of place.

Mitchell walks in and politely asks the women behind the register if they have tape.

“Over there, honey,” the cashier says, pointing to a dimly lit portion of the store.

After paying for a roll of industrial packing tape, she tucks it in her purse and heads for the restroom.

In a stall on the far end, she shuts the door behind her and pulls out the tape and a poster with words in English and Spanish.

“Need help?” the poster asks. “Are you being forced to do something you don’t want to do?” There’s a toll free number, 888-373-7888, for the National Human Trafficking Hotline, run by the nonprofit Polaris Project.

More on the fight against modern-day slavery at the CNN Freedom Project

“A lot of times when girls are being trafficked they’re being controlled,” Mitchell says. “They’re often not allowed to get very far from their trafficker.  And we’ve found one of the very few times girls are alone is when they’re in the bathroom.”

She used to ask if she could hang posters in truck stop restrooms. Now she just hangs them.

That toll free hot line number is plastered on combs, lip balms and nail files that Mitchell and other anti-trafficking workers can slip discreetly to men and women they suspect might be victims. Slipping a potential client an anti-trafficking business card could be dangerous, even deadly, they say.

A comb, nail file and lip balm feature the number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

But it’s not the only way Mitchell gets in touch with victims.  Law enforcement is reaching out to her more and more.

When North Carolina law enforcement breaks up a trafficking ring, they call her.

She helps the victims get safe places to live, food and job training,  along with just being a conversation partner.

Since 2010, North Carolina has had a statewide coalition to fight human trafficking. Law enforcement officers are now trained in what to look for. The program includes rapid response teams made up of representatives from law enforcement, service providers, hospitals and charities. When a potential victim comes into a hospital or is discovered through an arrest, the team springs into action.

“Victims are not going to self-identify,” says Mitchell, who has since left World Relief and is considering going back to school after a lack of funding threatened to cut her hours to part time. “ They’re not going to say ‘I’m a victim of human trafficking.’ So the burden is really on the service providers and law enforcement and the community."

In North Carolina, the partnerships between those groups, she says, “have helped to rescue victims.”

Church and state in an unlikely coalition 

Christian groups working to combat trafficking are providing law enforcement with some much-needed relief.

“Because of the limitations of our work, we like to partner with organizations that can provide services,” says Kory Williford, a victim specialist with the FBI based in North Carolina.

“Human trafficking isn’t the only victim population we work with, so to have organizations who can provide care to our victims on a longer term basis than we are able to is huge,” she says.

“A lot of sex trafficking is occurring in this state” and labor trafficking is on the upswing, Williford says.

The FBI in North Carolina has been partnering with World Relief for several years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand P. Ramaswamy, who focuses on human trafficking cases across the state from the federal prosecutors office in Greensboro, says he has been collaborating with local law enforcement on human trafficking.

“Those kind of cases have only recently been on the uptick,” he says. “As officers become more trained in what to look for, the number of cases goes up.”

The nation and the state are still working to catch up with the reality of trafficking, he says.

“Sometimes the victim was treated as part of the problem,” he says.  “In one instance a 16-year-old girl was charged with prostitution by local authorities.  So we have to go and sort of undo that.  That’s also the case where the person may have done something wrong, so they’re reluctant to come forward.”

Ramaswamy is keenly aware that his office and religious groups do not always have the same interests. His is in upholding and enforcing the law, while religious groups are interested in practicing their religion.

But the assistant U.S. attorney still believes in the partnership between church and state.

“On one hand the fact they’re a religious organization is not directly relevant,” he says. “However, if you look at the history of the abolitionist movement, it has always been religious communities and those are the people who are concerned enough to be active in it.

“And today with modern-day slavery the same is the case.”

The new Underground Railroad

Westover Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, is imagining what fighting modern-day slavery could look like. The nondenominational suburban church is cut from an evangelical cloth and has 5,000 members and a sprawling campus.

In 2011, the church started a ministry called “Abolition!” to fight human trafficking. It focuses on prayer, awareness and resources.

“In truth we didn’t know what we were going to do. We just knew we had a really strong passion for it,” says Dianne Stone, an "Abolition!" member. “We didn’t want to be a group that got together and said, ‘Oh we feel so bad for this.’ We wanted to do something and we wanted to make a difference.”

In a bright room off the sanctuary, Stone, Cambre Weller and Jennifer Craver, all members the group, explain why they got involved. They seem unlikely fighters against trafficking.

They could easily pass for a women’s Bible study group as they casually chat about their children and church activities before turning their attention to trafficking concerns in their area.

“It’s another thing to realize this is in your backyard and that’s our responsibility to address that and protect those who are being exploited,” Craver says.

What's the role of faith in fighting slavery?

Craver says the things they have learned about trafficking are horrible and keep her up at night. “I don’t want to know about trafficking, but I do know about it and as a Christian, I feel like I have to respond to that,” she says. “That is part of my calling.”

The group screens documentaries about human trafficking at other churches and sends out speakers to the Christian circuit. They also prepare emergency bags: canvas totes with a comb, brush, journal, pajamas, clean towels and other basics they learned that most trafficked women don’t have.

They keep a ready stash of bags for World Relief to distribute to victims, particularly those who are rescued during raids.

Mitchell says her faith has played a large role in her work to help victims of trafficking. “I don’t think I’m any different than anyone I work with, in vulnerability or dignity,” she says. “And man, I really believe that Christ saw everyone equally.”

Danielle Mitchell views her faith as integral to her work in fighting human trafficking.

“I could have been born in a brothel in India,” she says.

But there is a limit to how much personal faith she shares with clients.

“We’re completely client centered,” she says. “That means we’re not going to force our faith on anyone.  And I don’t talk to the clients about what I believe, unless they ask me.”

“If a client asks me and they want to go to a Buddhist temple, then I’m going to take them because that’s what they want.”

Prostituted not prostitute

Back at the truck stop, Mitchell explains that she hates the term “prostitute” and despises the phrase “lot lizard.”  She says it strips people of their dignity.

Instead, she refers to a “woman or man who is being prostituted.”  It is a slight change in wording that reveals a starkly different viewpoint.

“A lot of people think of sex trafficking or prostitution, they think it’s glamorous and that you can pinpoint someone who is selling sex or being sold for sex,” she says. “Usually it’s just average people who maybe aren’t taking care of themselves."

The prostitute, or woman being prostituted, or potential human trafficking victim, gets back into the beat up red Honda with the overweight pimp, who drives off, maybe after catching a glimpse of a journalist and activist watching them from a safe distance.

Mitchell calls the police to report what she just saw.

A few hours later, they call back and say the alleged pimp and alleged prostitute are long gone.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • North Carolina • United States

soundoff (1,631 Responses)
  1. Adrian GMV

    So called atheists are always sticking their nose where it does not belong. Always trying to convince the world that they know everything. They all think they already have the universe figured out. Always been that way and always will be as long as people think there is no place where they go after death. And they generalize so blatantly by referring to all Christians as bigots!

    February 5, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • clarke

      really now

      February 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • rmtaks

      Being agnostic, I don't really care what you believe, and I think it's actually good this woman is non-confrontationally giving a chance to people who may be doing it against their will or simply don't like it. As long as you don't stick YOUR nose where it doesn't belong: writing laws that limit citizens' rights. When I brought up a case of this (alcohol on Sundays) I was basically told to deal with it or that I was a bad person if I needed to drink so much. Here's the thing: it isn't that important to me to have 24/7 access to alcohol, but ANY law that limits citizens rights for arbitrary or religious reasons is VERY important to me.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Toby

      Rmtaks. You arent agnostic. They dont argue with your zealous nature. I think you are confused over what you are. Agnostics are outside enjoying the day right now, not arguing about god on the interent like us.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Atheist means self centered like secular, a hindu innovation.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Agnostic also means self centered.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  2. SA

    You can always expect to find an atheist commenting on something like this. Who cares who is involved with trying to hinder human trafficking? Let them be Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. They are trying to do more so that another may have a better life. If you can't see past the religion to the good intentions then you are blind.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • felixelgato

      All pimps should be shot on sight.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • RealityChecker

      Atheists can't resist. The American people reject them so much, that they know the only way they can force their beliefs onto people is to attack those who are doing good for other people. If they came out and praised this woman, they would be admitting that all of their previous claims about Christians are wrong, and even more Americans will reject them. At 3% of the population, atheists are desperate. As their posts prove.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Alex

      Why do atheists comment more on religious blogs than any science posts? They are on a jihad to spread their hate.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • rmtaks

      Alex: Probably because there are way more religious posts that make front-page news. Also, if it's a science post you aren't going to openly give away your religious affiliation or lack of "as an ATHEIST I think this new planet we discovered is great!" Finally, I don't believe your anecdote that was no doubt formed because humans tend to remember negative events (people arguing with them) more than positive ones.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • rmtaks

      Also, the irony of this post and all the replies are negative things about atheists. No atheists have even replied (I'm not an atheist).

      February 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      "No atheists have even replied (I'm not an atheist)."

      You failed to check out the dozens of posts on additional pages of comments here.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  3. MisSheryl

    Way to totally miss the point people. You were too busy looking for a jumping off point for your anti-religious arguments to hear what the story is about. She is not pandering – it barely even registers that it is a religiously-affiliated group, and she specifically says that she does not witness to those to whom she offers her assistance. Trafficking is very serious issue that deserves attention from as many points as possible. Even as an atheist, this lady has moved me to determine how I can volunteer my assistance. I guess the rest of you will continue to sit here and spew venom.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Don

      Either way she is a pathetically flawed person and if someone did to her what she does to others she would be screaming at thhe Police to protect her.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Toby

      Careful don. Youre startin to sound a little like hitler ol boy..

      February 5, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Jenn

      @Don – you clearly don't know the first thing about the horrors of this issue or what you are talking about. Congratulations on being so blinded by hate that you can't see beyond the nose on your own face. So sad.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  4. Leave religion alone

    Ok Rolph you got it. You are so great and perfect you know everything. So that makes you an idiot. Who cares why people do it? Religion, human etc etc... What matters is the good they are doing based on whatever is they think. Why you got to hate on Religion?

    February 5, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  5. lovethedifferentcommentsystemsCNN

    wwjd

    February 5, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  6. RealityChecker

    Atheists are simply angry and bitter about the fact that the American people reject them. Their anger has affected their mental stability, and all it takes to make them even nuttier than normal is a story of a Christian helping people.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Phil

      You've had time to read my post below. Did I sound angry? There goes your theory on how atheists are upset all the time because they face rejection. You can post as much as you want here, but the truth is, it doesn't become fact after a certain number of posts.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Toby

      Why you gotta come on here and just start bashing people? Regardless of what they are? Now you are no better

      February 5, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • clarke

      Please only speak for yourself.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Fuyuko

      Saying the same thing over and over doesn't make it true.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Jamie

      When is the last time you saw an atheist protesting funerals telling people they are going to hell. I think what this woman is doing is awesome. But, unlike Christians, atheist don't look for a return on their investment when they help someone. You say that atheist are crazy, but several empirical studies show that atheist are more educated and less prone to depression, violence and are more tolerant of others. Also, 92% of prisoners profess to being Christian BEFORE they were arrested and those prisoners who seek professional psychological help are 75% more likely to not return to prison as opposed to those who only rely on prison chaplains. Atheist don't need to be angry because we have facts, and lots of them, on our side.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Toby

      Jamie. Dont make stuff up. It doesnt do your party any good. "studies show athiests...." really? Are these the same studies that show religious people are right and you are wrong? Sounds silly right..

      February 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Jenn

      @Jamie – you can read the blog comments here for 5 minutes and quickly learn that atheists are the least tolerant group of them all. I have never seen such a hate filled group of people. And about that "atheists do good just because they are super awesome"....tell me please, in detail, what you have spent your volunteer time doing so far this month. I await your response with baited breath.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  7. Phil

    I'm atheist...however, I believe what this woman is doing is commendable. If she wants to introduce them to jesus - go for it. It gives people who are in a weakened state, hope.

    I don't believe in god, but you can...that doesn't bother me. Bottom line is, she's helping people......what are you going to do today? Watch a boring game on television?

    February 5, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Toby

      You are one of the few athiests on this board who are real. I read so much hate filled vile comments and it seems most are very angry or confused about what they are. My best friend is an athiest and he pretty much just doesnt care about god or religion. He has nothing in common with it. Ive never once seen him get angry or "proactive" in the fight. He actually calls them "born again athiests" because they preach with the same passion as religion nuts..i dont understant the hatred

      February 5, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Phil

      @ Toby

      I used to be that angry atheist - had to tell everyone how wrong they were, etc. But just as I mentioned to RealityChecker above - no matter how many times I said it didn't make it right or wrong.

      People are going to do and think what they want. I cannot control them, only influence them. If I approach the matter with a suggestion instead of "you're wrong", I'll get further.

      A lot of how I respond is based on my mood.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • SA

      I like you Phil. You are one of the few that are not always putting down a religious group. Plus you can see the good intentions of this woman and the many like her.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • clarke

      I agree with Phil. This women is helping people, that may or may not want her help. She doesn't even have to believe in God to help others. Religion has nothing to do with helping others.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Adrian GMV

      Thank you for your respect. It's quite refreshing! And in return, as a believer in Jesus, I offer no condemnation or judgement towards you- I respect your right not to believe.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  8. jzaks

    So called Christians are always sticking their nose where it does not belong. Always trying to save the world. They all think they already have one foot in their imagined Heaven. Always been that way and always will be as long as people think there is some fantasy place where they go after death, one being eternal life and the other eternal damnation.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • RealityChecker

      Must be why 82% of the American people are Christians.... while your kind make up 3%. You need to see a psychiatrist to learn how to deal with that reality.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Toby

      Wow. So let me get this straight. Just because they are religious they are "sticking their nose where it dont belong?" but if there were no mention of religion this would be a "great thing" huh? Wow, are you a hypocrite. Why so hateful?

      February 5, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Amistavia

      RealityChecker- And reality shows are the most popular on TV. What does popularity tell us? From what I've seen, it represents the lowest common denominator much more than it represents what is right.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Papagino

      Yeah, the nerve of some people to actually care enough to try to help someone out of a destructive pattern of behavior. How crass of them to try to house the homeless, feed the hungry and spend time with the lost people of society? How dare they?

      February 5, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • JanetMermaid

      I have real issues with Christians poking their noses where they don't belong - such as bedrooms of gay couples and wombs of women. But this to me is what Christianity should be about - helping those who have become trapped in a situation that they don't know how to escape. Young runaway girls can easily get caught into human trafficking and then not know what to do or who to go to. Let Christians help those who truly need help (and who want it but don't know where to go) and stay out of the bedrooms and wombs of everyone else.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Jsmith

      Just because some people have the courage to stand up and and actually use their brains to take action, while you sit on your ass and read about it, doesn't give you the right to judge their religious choices.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • buddhaguy

      How pitiful, in this modern age you still can't do good without someone opening their mouth and making it something else. Everyone should believe what they want to, if it doesn't step on somebody else This woman specifically stated, "we're not trying to push faith on anyone." I don't see how this is putting their business where it doesn't belong. Young women have been rescued from a horrible life by people "sticking their nose where it doesn't belong", and I mean all over the world, not just this one organization.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  9. Rolph

    Christians are on a Jihad to prove they're better than everyone else. I think that what these people are doing to protect those that can't protect themselves is wonderful but it has nothing to do with Christ it's called being human !
    There are millions of christians doing horrible things and I'm sure many of those pimps go to church so cut the malarky and stop selling your faith. If you want to be a good person than do something good. It has nothing to do with being Christian or beleiving in some fairytale god. If we need to have a religion and a god to tell us what is right and wrong than maybe we should be back living in caves since we have learned nothing in 5 thousand years

    February 5, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • pat carr

      Well said Rolph. how much damage has xianity caused over the ages?

      February 5, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • RealityChecker

      You still can't figure out why atheists still only make up 3% of the population.... just like they did in 1920. Your hatred prevents you from seeing that your kind are as irrelevant now as they have been for the entire history of this nation. Always will be too. Deal with it.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • capnmike

      Bravo! Well said!

      February 5, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • capnmike

      RealityChecker, atheists are 16% of the population, not 3%...and far from being irrelevant, they represent the percentage that are not stupid or gullible or brainwashed enough to fall for the garbage that is religion. It's not "hate", it's just frustration with having to live with the millions of fools who actually believe all that trash and try to dump it on others.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • jimmmyc1955

      the hatred for Christians that spills from some of these posts is so obvious. Those who despise all things Christian will dismiss all the actions of Chrisitans as something we should all just do – but if it weren't for the Christians – it wouldn't get done. The largest NGO's in the world are christian – and they serve those in need of any faith – or non-faith – without limitation. US Catholic Hospitals have served the poor from the day they were opened without any proselytizing. Millions would have suffered without those acts of charity .

      But all you religious bigots can see is a reason to hate – are reason to be angry. For what?? Is it a belief that all life is sacred and that the efforts to help the poor, the sick and the ill are to be totally dismissed at the alter of abortion? Is it really that simple??

      February 5, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Mike

      Jimmy. You need a reality check. The largest Christian denomination in existence today (the Southern Baptist Convention) exists because it's members DID NOT support abolition.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  10. Mike

    "The new Christian abolition movement?"

    Are you implying that Christians are responsible for the first abolition movement? Time to get your facts straight. The Southern Baptist Convention (the largest denomination in the US today) exists solely because their membership was pro-slavery while the Baptist Convention was not.

    At best all you can say is that some Christian groups supported abolition while a wide swath of them did not. It was a North-South thing, not a Christian-nonChristian thing. It was an industrial/agricultural divide.

    Clearly. Look at the nations that ended slavery first, they were all the early industrializing countries without exception.

    To give Christians credit for ending slavery is disingenuous.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • alex

      Well if you want to assign credit. You should credit the Quakers. They were the first group to come out strongly against slavery during the the American Revolution.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Mike

      Right Alex. That was my implication when I said "some Christian groups."

      Let's see where the Quakers are membership wise today... oh, what's that? Less than a few hundred thousand?

      Whereas the pro-slavery SBC ranks in the tens of millions.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Jenn

      Ever heard of William Wilberforce? Ya kinda a big deal in the abolition movement and guess what? He was a strong Christina, strongly motivated by his beliefs.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:51 am |
  11. CarrotCakeMan

    I'm sorry to learn that even at this article, "Christianists" are attacking anyone who does not share their "beliefs." Sorry, "Christianists," you can't force us.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Quoting

      Nobody's forcing anything on you. Get over yourself.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  12. palintwit

    Sarah Palin believes that human trafficking is when there's a big crowd at the nascar track

    February 5, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Papagino

      Wow, did you come with that all by yourself? Try to stay on topic. This article isn't about Sarah Palin...

      February 5, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  13. Don

    Christians are just racist and bigots, nothing else. There is NOTHING righteous or superior in these masses of stupid people who follow baseless mindless myths about imaginary personas developed to keep the simple minded and weak willed in control.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • RealityChecker

      80% of Americans are racists and bigots? You need to see a psychiatrist to deal with your hatred issues.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Quoting

      Die to myself everyday so I don't do the perverted things I really want to do. Takes alot more than your simplistic mind thinks. You try it and see how weak you really are

      February 5, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • alex

      Generalizing about a group of people and calling THEM bigoted. Cool story bro.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Crystal

      And what are YOU doing to find injustice?

      February 5, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  14. Tim

    Are these women under age? If so, then it's law enforcement's business, no? Are they here illegally? Then why
    do we sympathize with them? Are they being forced? Apparently not. I think this woman is a busybody and
    needs to get a real life.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • RealityChecker

      You sound like one of their customers.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Crystal

      Do some research. You don't know what you're talking about.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Jenn

      Congratulations Tim, you just failed reading comprehension 101. Trafficking victims are often brought here illegally, that is not their fault. Many of them are underage but law enforcement is not always trained on how to recognize victims. And lastly, even when they can...there are less than 100 beds total in the country for victims and almost no funding at all for domestic minor trafficking victimsl. Thanks for your total lack of understanding of this issue.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  15. Lulz

    This is funny. Human Trafficking will never end; period. It's been going on since the beginning of man. <--The sad truth.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Peterbilt Pete

      LEGALIZE IT!

      February 5, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Toby

      Legalize what? Human trafficking?

      February 5, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Alex

      Slavery also existed for thousands of years. And we ended it in this country.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  16. Don

    You can sum up this story very easliy in very few words. Christians are stupid people trying to pretend they are better than everyone else. They belive in stupid myths created for those with weak minds and weak wills. This woman personifies all oof this as she shows she is truly stupid, arroagnt in her feelings she is better than anyone else and has a weak will and weak mind. I cannot wait till this disgusting belief system decays into the dust where it truly beelongs. There is NO God, there is and Never was a Jesus except maybe in Mexico, get over it, get a brain.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Quoting

      Another atheist chiming in giving his two sense. You have everything figured out don't you.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Toby

      I like your ahistorical view of the world. You do know pretty much every historian knows jesus was alive and walked the earth. And how you know theres no god is amazing. So after all these thousands of years and wise philosophers, you actually had the answer all this time.. Amazing..

      February 5, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Tim

      CENTS. Two CENTS. This is the kind of stupidity they're (not "there," not "their") talking about. And yes, if you can't even spell, you have no business making decisions that require thought.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Blake

      It takes a lot of faith to believe in something that may not exist than to run your mouth that it doesn't exist.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • pat carr

      I agree DOn. As for the response below "figured out", well isn't that what christians believe? that they have everything figured out

      February 5, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • daddyisbac1

      @quoting – The difference b/w an atheist and a religious zealot, is the atheist KNOWS he does not have it figured out.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Don

      Not everything but I definitely know a very brainless twit who is all upset because men will not pay attention to her because she may look nice but when they get close and see how truly stupid she is they run as fast as they can. Self Righteous busybodies need to be arrested and locked up in prison just like any other criminal. They violate peoples rights. If someone followed her around and harasses her like she does others she would be at the Police Station screaming bloody murder. So why does it make it ok for a mentally ill myth follower to do the same with impunity and not be punished and locked up like anyone else? Because she "feels" she is right? She is nothing more than a self righteous hypocrite and according to her failed beliefs she is guilty of the worst sin of all, being a hypocrite and judging someone else when her supposed god said he was the only one to judge.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Quoting

      As a Christian I definitely don't have everything figured out nor do I parade like I do. Christians shouldn't either. What we do have figured out is we've been saved by God

      February 5, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • pat carr

      "What we do have figured out is we've been saved by God"

      "saved" from what? a mythical "hell" that was created by your cult? a cult designed to make everyone feel guilty

      February 5, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Toby

      Pat. Saved from ourselves. Saved from the pain of walking down the wrong path. Saved from the fruitless search.. Etc.. Why bash something and mock it when you dont understand any of it? So illogical no?

      February 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Quoting

      @Pat

      Hells the separation from God, which ever way you look at it. So yeah God showed me (us) how much he loved us and believing in that saves me from his separation when my physical body dies.

      And so your saying the Gospels were written to make people feel guilty. You got a lot of studying to do

      February 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  17. Hypatia

    How nice. And the organisations and private groups who have been working to eliminate this problem for years are red-headed stepchildren? CNN, you are pandering.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • RealityChecker

      You aren't able to name any of those other organizations because it is just a part of your imagination.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Toby

      Hypatia. Where does it say in this article that no other organizations have been trying to help?

      February 5, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Sueiman

      @RealityCheck

      Just going to say; Your name is extremely ironic, don't say anything about imagination when you believe in a floating deity-in-the-sky. 😛

      February 5, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  18. Atheist #1

    CNN is Run by a Former Fox News Associate!

    February 5, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • RealityChecker

      Considering that 12 times more Americans watch Fox than CNN and MSNBC combined, it's not surprising that CNN would hire people who know how to attrach the American viewer. If they hire a lot more Fox staff, maybe CNN might crawl out of the cellar in the ratings.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  19. Quoting

    Funny how atheist always have to put their two sense in on something they supposedly care nothing about. Any article on religion you'll find a atheist chiming in bashing something. And for what reason. It has nothing to do with you.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • c

      It has nothing to do with us? Really? In a nation where the vast majority claim to be christians, it has *everything* to do with us. We're surrounded by people who hate us and want to enforce their beliefs on us. Don't be surprised when we go on the offensive from time to time.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Quoting

      Nobodys forcing anything on your. Get over yourself. And Christians do NOT hate atheist. If they do their not true Christians.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Quoting

      On you...little mis type

      February 5, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Mike

      It's about theists creating alternate histories where they glorify themselves and pervert all the facts.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • rmtaks

      Christians aren't forcing anything on anyone? Why can't I go to the store today (Sunday) and buy alcohol?

      February 5, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Toby

      Rmtaks. Because you live in a crappy state? Or maybe you shouldnt be an alcoholic who needs liquor first thing in the morning? Or maybe you arent smart enough to buy it on sat night? If you were as tough of an athiest as you think, you should protest sunday as being the lords day and just go to work like its monday.. Just sayin

      February 5, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • pat carr

      Christians force their beliefs on us and don't say they don't. it's a pile of BS. the reason we are here is because of your constant "witnessing", "evangelizing", our laws, etc. Get used to us coming here and commenting, we aren't going away. You can't force your hateful cult on us anymore

      February 5, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Jeremy

      Quoting I am an atheist. I believe help can come from everywhere. Religion is forced on people everyday. How do think Religions grow. People force there kids to church and force there religion on there children. Hell throughout history religion has been forced on people all over the world including the USA. Christians forced religion on Native Americans and African Americans and there stilling doing it. Children should have the right to chose to believe in God or not. I was given the choose by my parents and atheism fit me very well. I would never ask my son or force him to be an atheist. When is old enough he will decide on his own. Just remember help can come from anywhere.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • pat carr

      "Nobodys forcing anything on your. Get over yourself. And Christians do NOT hate atheist. If they do their not true Christians."

      yes they do. And yes they hate atheists. or if they don't, they don't tolerate our lack of belief in their cult.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • rmtaks

      Toby: Yes, I do live in a crappy state: a bible belt state. And notice how when I bring up a point about Christians limiting people's rights you immediately go to "What do you have to hide? You're clearly a bad person if you would be going against this law. You just made my case for me.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Quoting

      Jeremy I believe exactly what your saying man and what your parents did. My kids will be the same. I would never force Christ on any of them or anybody for that matter. God wants the people that really love him and not the people forced to love him. But that doesn't mean I'm not gonna tell them about Christ and how he saved me. After that its their choice.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Quoting

      Christians jobs are to "spread" the gospel and thats it

      February 5, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Toby

      Rmtaks. I think you are mixing up my post with someone else. I hav no clue what you are talking about with the "hide" stuff.. Maybe you should move, i think the groudwater might be bad

      February 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • rmtaks

      Toby: I'm not the spelling/grammar police, and I overlook plenty of my own errors, but maybe I didn't understand you because you can barely even write. I think it might be your "groudwater" that is bad.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  20. cigarlover6

    jus because she is christian, this is a noble activity?? How about folks who are doing this without any religious overture, not getting a CNN headline? Religious pandering.. nothing else.
    I wonder, why the heck CNN has become religious mouthpiece these days??

    February 5, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Quoting

      Why do you care so much atheist. Wheres your group at doing this

      February 5, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • RealityChecker

      "How about folks who are doing this without any religious overture"

      Of course, you're not able to identify any of them, because they don't exist.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • cigarlover6

      well, use your logic. If they don't publish on CNN (big BOLD PICTURE and article on Sunday), then how you would know them? There are many folks doing it for charity, for money, etc. Never the less they are no lesser than this one women. This is nothing but religious pandering.
      e.g.
      just google people helping prosti.... recover. CNN is not allowing web links here...

      Just open your eyes, you would find folks helping in such cause. This is nothing but pandering to Christianity ... who knows who paid whom to publish this article...
      Its always me.. me... me.. for religious nuts..

      February 5, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Toby

      Ive read TONS of stories of people doing these things with no mention of religion. Funny thing is, ive never seen religious people posting "religious people do this all the time, why not mention them? CNN are athiests!".. Dude, you are so typical and hypocritical.. Can you not even see it? And you call religious people blind sheep.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Bucky

      RealityChecker, you are the worse kind. I am an atheist and I have even called in a house here in Denver that I suspected of this very same activity. So no it isn't just you Christians that are do gooders, we just don't stop and force our beliefs on you along the way.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • RealityChecker

      Cigar.... STILL unable to name any? Thanks for proving yourself wrong. Again.

      February 5, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • RealityChecker

      Bucky..... WOW.... you actually dialed 911 and now want to claim that is the equivalent to actually helping people? What next? Claiming you're better than Mother Teresa because you made a phone call? Did you demand they give you a medal and put you on the news for such a "heroic" act?

      February 5, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • wahoo69

      Religion = ripoff. For those slamming non-christians here, just do yourself (and your loved ones) a logical and historically correct favor and look up Sumarian (predates Judaism and Christianity by a LONG shot) lore/mythos then comparo to your Torah/Old testament and you'll see the same stories being retold in order to fit into an ethnic/social movement niche....

      Islam was created in the exact same way, retelling and revising stories already wriitten... In a nutshell, there no geological or historical facts to back every single event in the Torah or Bible as 100% fact, i.e. miracles.

      Try prosecuting an individual based upon faith and not facts and see how far that goes without repurcussions.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • cigarlover6

      Reality... get real and google the phrase I posted. You will find so many organizations.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • cigarlover6

      Toby, in your religious zest and hyperbole, you will never see any logic.
      CNN is using this space to lure nuts like you ... simple viewership and economic logic.
      Don't just think that the preacher is swindling your hard earned money... it seems CNN is also pandering to you guys to increase ratings and advertisement dollars.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.