Christians and Muslims have united today in an effort to battle modern-day slavery where millions of men, women and children are held around the world. These enslaved individuals are forced to work as work as maids, prostitutes, child soldiers and manual laborers.
The two faiths came together to launch the Global Freedom Network at the Vatican. Their goal is to wipe out slavery and encourage business, governments, faith and educational institutions to not use companies or organizations associated with this form of human trafficking and slave labor.
Founder of the Walk Free Foundation, Andrew Forrest used personal contacts to bring everyone involved with the initiative on board. He believes with a plan for profitability, communities will thrive without slavery.
"We have absolute economic proof that once you take slavery out of a community, that community grows and grows and grows," said Forrest.
Members of the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion and al-Azhar university in Cairo all gathered together today at the Vatican to sign an agreement to launch the project, which will be based at the Vatican and have a chief executive responsible for implementing a five-year business plan.
The initiative for the Catholic church and Muslim religion working together at the Vatican is an indication of a milestone in their frayed relationship.
In 2011, the Islamic University of al-Azhar ceased communication with the Vatican over what they described as constant disrespect and insults from Pope Benedict during his papacy toward Islam. Benedict had condemned attacks on churches that killed dozens of people in Egypt, Iraq and Nigeria.
Pope Francis, who was behind the Vatican conference in November 2013, has spoke out against human trafficking.