The 2012 Olympics will be here in less than a year, and the country is getting ready!! Flights are being booked, tickets are being bought, stadiums are being built and athletes are hard at work
training their bodies and dreaming of those months to come and how many medals they will win for their country.
But they are not the only ones getting ready.
As the country gears itself up for the biggest sporting event around, the sex industry is busy strengthening its own supply chain of women, readily available to service the needs of men: before, during and after the Olympics. Although it is impossible to gather any accurate estimates on how many women will be sexually exploited as a direct result of this sporting event, it is nevertheless the case that many of the men who come over to work on building the stadium or the tourists who come over to see the games will purchase the body of a woman to meet their sexual needs.
There is much to enjoy and celebrate about the Olympics, however the Games can also work as a reminder of the injustice that occurs with those exploited through prostitution and trafficking for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation (among other things, such as labour exploitation and domestic servitude).
Gathering Voices: A Journey of Prayer is an exciting initiative aiming to gather a network of voices, young and old, to intercede into the injustice of prostitution and human trafficking, running up to the 2012 Olympics.
Sexual exploitation in the UK, although often hidden and unnoticed, is widespread and happening in every town and city in this country, you do not have to look far to discover it. Consequently, the question arises: when confronted with an issue like prostitution, what can the Church and body of Christ do to make a positive difference? On numerous occasions the Church has been accused of throwing away “its street cred by trading in its relational mission to the poor and marginalized for a seat of power”. The 2012 Olympics is an opportunity for the Church to engage once again with some of the most marginalized in society through committing to faithfully pray for those affected by the sex industry. We want God to expand our hearts and increase our vision to see a country where people are free from sexual exploitation!
Based on a simple liturgical rhythm, this resource will have seven daily prayer responses which will focus on issues around sexual exploitation and the Olympics, at the heart of the daily responses will be prayers written by women who have exited prostitution. Each day will focus on a different theme, these are:
- Monday: International Trafficking: bought and sold for sex
- Tuesday: Those who exploit others
- Wednesday: Our towns and cities: prostitution in the UK
- Thursday: Engaging on the ground: projects around the UK
- Friday: Protecting innocence: the grooming and sexual exploitation of vulnerable children
- Saturday: The sex industry: dealing with demand
- Sunday: A loving Church: putting justice into action
We hope that you will be able to use this resource as a platform for interceding on behalf of those affected by the sex industry, and that you will gather with other voices around this country to unite in this journey of prayer.
This resource has been designed to be used as a regular cycle of weekly prayer, however please feel free to use it as you feel led; this may be in your own devotional time, with a group of others, or in a completely different way altogether.