There are approximately 20 countries that make up the Middle East region. Within these 20 countries there is estimated to be a population of over 400 million people. Among these 400 million people, nearly 98% identify as Muslim, while only 2% are considered unreached or practicing a separate religion. Along with having a large population of unreached people, the Middle East also has a large population of modern slavery as well.
- According to the Walk Free Global Index of Slavery, in 2013, there was an estimated three-quarters of a million people enslaved in the Middle East and North Africa; it was also said that this region “had the highest level of discrimination against women".
- Oftentimes, many from surrounding countries in Asia and Africa immigrate to the Middle East in hopes of finding work only to be trapped in kafala, where their rights and papers are taken and the immigrants are enslaved by these “employers.” In one country in the Middle East, 63% of the workers in garment factories are women, who face bondage and sexual abuse daily. Another practice that has become common is for wealthy men to travel and purchase women and girls for marriage (Buchbinder, 2015).
Catalyst Ministries comes alongside local leaders who offer women and girls an escape route and safety from home enslavement, sex trafficking, domestic abuse, and rape.
- Through this ministry, they shine the light of Jesus in a world of darkness and oppression, speaking over these women the truth of how Jesus sees them and the freedom that is found in following Him, even in the face of persecution and opposition.
- These women discover that they are worthy not because of their works, but because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross who took all their shame and gave them a crown of honor and grace.
Buchbinder, S. (2015). Sex, Lies and Crime: Human Trafficking in the Middle East. Retrieved June
02, 2016, from http://theislamicmonthly.com/sex-lies-and-crime-human-trafficking-in-the-middle-east/