What does it mean to seek justice for the poor and oppressed in today’s world?
Some theologians have argued that the focus of justice is limited to accountability or retribution and that concepts of restoration and transformation are not really justice at all, but rather an expression of love. But, as Stephen Charles Mott points out in Biblical Ethics and Social Change, “justice is not a different principle, in contradiction to love; rather it expresses in terms of fixed duty and obligation the appropriate response to love in certain social situations.”
Loving actions may take place in an evil society, such as a slave society. But if the order of society is not changed, then love itself is thwarted. Because God bestows dignity on each person, everyone has a duty to treat all persons with dignity and respect, and individuals have a corresponding right to such treatment. Justice, then, is the order which love requires.
Therefore, love can never do less than justice. It can only do more.
God calls us to intervene for victims of injustice and by the power of the Holy Spirit to seek and achieve justice within the spheres of influence where we exercise power and authority. As the prophet Amos declared, we are called to “let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” – Amos 5:24
This holiday season, we invite you to join JVI with your generous support as an act of love bringing justice to some of the world’s most vulnerable and oppressed children, women and men – those like Komal* who was recently rescued from a brothel by JVI, local partners and police in Bihar, India.
Komal, the youngest of the four minors rescued that day, was just 13 years old. She was taken out of school and sold to the brothel owner by her father at age 12. Komal, who weighed approximately 44 pounds, was sexually abused by 4-5 men every day for money that was pocketed by the brothel madam. Customers in this location pay Rs.10,000 ($135) to engage with young girls. She lived under unimaginable trauma. A child who had barely begun to live her life was stripped of her rights, tortured, drugged and abused by the brothel owner. On the day of the rescue, the police arrested three customers and three traffickers. JVI lawyers assisted in filing the official police complaint.
Komal and the other survivors are now receiving holistic aftercare services. They are on their long road to healing and JVI will continue to support them along the way.
Please consider the giving options outlined inside the enclosed gift catalog for your end of year giving. Your generosity allows JVI to go deeper in high prevalence areas for human trafficking and other extreme injustice to root out systemic injustice for girls like Komal and hundreds of others like her.
We are honored to partner with you in this vital work. May God bless you and your family richly this holiday season.
Jeffrey Pankratz, President & CEO
*name changed to protect confidentiality