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December 3, 2014

Faith Leaders Pledge to End Modern-Day Slavery

Yesterday, I was honored to participate in an historic moment in the fight to end the scourge of modern day slavery.  Hosted by Pope Francis at the Vatican, some of the world’s most prominent religious leaders from the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths came together to sign a declaration that commits the signatories to do everything in their power, within their faith communities, to free the people enslaved in the world by 2020.

“In the eyes of God, each human being is a free person, whether girl, boy, woman or man, and is destined to exist for the good of all in equality and fraternity,” the declaration reads.  “Modern slavery…and any relationship that fails to respect the fundamental conviction that all people are equal and have the same freedom and dignity, is a crime against humanity.”

Modern slavery, under which tens of millions of people suffer in the world today, is a practice that knows few boundaries and cuts across all religious traditions.  To witness these leaders speak with one voice and commit to cooperation to end slavery was an extraordinary moment of solidarity in the history of the world, and one for which I am profoundly thankful.

In an age where each day seems to bring new stories of despair, this moment inspired a renewed sense of hope that despair is not the destiny of humanity.

The entire declaration can be found here:

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