What is the most tragic sin in society today? Is it the abuse of power over the weak? Is it greed and self-indulgence? Is it sexual depravity or the taking of innocent human life?

What if there were one sin that combined the worst of each of these? I refer to sex trafficking. This is one of six areas that the BGCO Women’s Ministry has identified as part of the larger problem of “human exploitation,” which is defined as “the unethical, selfish use of human beings for the satisfaction of personal desires and/or profitable advantage.”

Officials from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics have worked with key ministry leaders to create awareness of this issue and identify ways Christians can confront this evil, which takes place not only in foreign countries but also at home.

How exactly do these crimes happen? Experts say that human traffickers find their victims in various places, including truck stops. Sometimes, human traffickers literally kidnap victims and sell them to overseas “users.” Other times, sex traffickers find runaway teens, mentally impaired or vulnerable people and lure them into captivity, then sell them into sex slavery.

Just how widespread is the problem? Though it is difficult to put hard numbers to this underground crime, a recent study published in the US News & Word Report showed that as many as 100,000 children in the U.S. are being used in the sex trade.

These victims, however, are not mere statistics. They are people, made in God’s image, like you. While this great moral wrong is too horrible to think about, Christians certainly cannot stand idly by and ignore it.

What are Christians to do? For starters, take time to become even more educated on the problem by contacting the BGCO Women’s Ministry at 405/942-3800 or www.bgco.org. Be equipped and ready to report a problem through the National Trafficking Hotline, 888/373-7888. The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission also has articles and research, available at www.erlc.com.

Next, look for opportunities near you to serve victims of human trafficking. Ministries abound of those aware of sex trafficking, and you and your church can make a real difference. Baptist leaders, for example, are partnering with groups like Dayspring Villa, which is the only certified faith-based shelter for trafficking victims in the state.

The most important action, however, is to pray. Pray for the victims of these crimes. Pray for ministries like Dayspring who are meeting the needs of the victims. Pray also that God would convert or destroy all purveyors of this great evil.

Winston Churchill once defined a tyrant as someone who believes their own personal wants and wishes are worth the lives of millions. That definition from Churchill, who called Adolf Hitler the “embodiment of evil,” could certainly apply to human traffickers. And like Hitler himself, they must be stopped at all cost.