My marriage was killing me. Either my marriage needed to end or my belief in this “all-loving God” who had “allowed” my husband to abuse me had to end. Thanks to the “godly” Christian counsel I received, I attempted to submit to emotional abuse in order to be faithful to God and to my marriage.
Like many churches, ours on Boston’s North Shore is invested in a mission in a developing country. In our case, we support a school in Haiti. The vision belonged to one of my students in the first class I taught for Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (its Boston Campus) some fifteen years ago. Joseph is himself a Haitian with a burden for a poor village outside of Port-au-Prince. It had an infant mortality rate of more than 80 percent, since the people had to depend on a river for everything— drinking, washing, etc.
W: I notice that some Muslim women wear head coverings one hundred percent of the time.
M: Yes, all the time. It is a very totally different culture in the Muslim world. That’s why, when we went to the Middle East, the first thing we were taught—do not walk around with your hair open. Because they consider you are a prostitute. Because they consider that, if you show your hair, you are tempting men to the sexual immoral sin. You are enticing them. This is according to the Qur’an.
At the intersection of socioeconomics, ethnicity, and gender lurks one of the most insidious forms of violence against girls and women: sex trafficking. What theological insights should inform Christian ministry to victims and survivors of sex trafficking? Female theologians who are well-acquainted with histories of multiple forms of oppression should inform Christian practice. Therefore, mujerista (Spanish for “womanist”) and womanist scholars ought to be at the top of the list. Unfortunately, many evangelicals and other Christians whose praxis has primarily been informed by white, Western, male theological perspectives, are hesitant to consider theologies by and for women of color. This is a mistake. Whether or not a person fully embraces all the theological points of womanist and mujerista theologies, these contextualized liberation theologies contain powerful and poignant biblical truths that are particularly relevant to today’s victims and survivors of sex trafficking. This paper will first highlight relevant definitions and themes in mujerista and womanist theologies, then examine the implications for ministry among today’s sex trafficking victims and survivors