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Operation Cross Country highlights human trafficking in Bay Area

Jackie Speier has made fighting human trafficking a priority
Jackie Speier has made fighting human trafficking a priority
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Operation Cross Country


ABC7 News was just one Bay Area station to cover the success of "Operation Cross Country" on their evening news program Monday, June 23. The massive human-trafficking sting took place simultaneously in 106 cities nationwide.

Operation Cross Country had a goal of liberating minors in the profession, with more than 150 being freed nationwide. They targeted pimps for arrest and also took in the solicitors ("Johns"), but prostitutes were given non-incarceration options designed to get them out of the business.

In the Bay Area, 13 pimps were arrested and six girls were freed thanks to Operation Cross Country. The region is one of the worst in the nation for human trafficking, according to Representative Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo). It is understandable she has been a key voice on this issue as a one-time gunshot victim of the Bay Area's Jim Jones cult that similarly preyed upon the vulnerable.

A California Health Watch report in April showed that 46 percent of California prosecutions for human trafficking took place in Alameda County. That is why Shiloh Church in Oakland joined this cause in 2013.

The best thing Christians can do for those often forced into what the FBI considers sex slavery is to show them the love of Christ. After all, Shiloh pastor Patrick Kiteley pointed out in a December 2013 sermon that one of the first major women in Christianity was a former possessed Greek sex slave (Acts 16).

In the meantime, take up the fight yourself. As groups like Protect Oakland Kids are putting forth the motto: "If you see something, say something." Scriptures warn of turning a blind eye to evil, including in Proverbs 24:12:

If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not, doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it, and He that keepeth thy soul, doth He not know it and shall He not render to every man according to his works?

It is our duty to fight for the oppressed. Having already cited a liberal on this bipartisan issue, we can see its sensibility in a quote often credited to Edmund Burke, called by some the father of modern conservatism: "All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Note of disclosure: MJ Kasprzak is a deacon at Shiloh Church and studied at Shiloh Bible College.