LIBERDADE (Lee-ber-dajee)

(f) n. freedom, liberty; independence, latitude; loose
Three years ago, we embarked on a journey to understand and combat sex trafficking in Brazil. When our team arrived in Rio de Janeiro, they were wholly impacted by the incredible beauty, culture, and energy of the Brazilian community. Our mission, however, was to look past the dazzling landscape and to trek deep into the dark corners of its slavery epidemic, which has ranked Brazil as one of the premier sex tourism destinations of the world.1 The degree of sexual exploitation and oppression witnessed from Fortaleza in the northeast to Sao Paolo in the south, placed Brazil as a top priority on Exodus Cry’s agenda for 2013 and 2014. In June of 2014, the World Cup will commence in Brazil and several anti-trafficking organizations are anticipating a heightened trend of commercial sexual exploitation, in addition to the booming sex trade that already exists. Although the question of the World Cup’s correlation to a rise in sex trafficking has often been debated, we cannot deny the enormous influx of international tourists and potential sex-buyers who will have a significant presence across the country. The already flagrant reality of sexual exploitation in Brazil will soon be plunged under a flood of vacationing sports fans and visitors–a perfect market for new waves of trafficking. But this year, we’re launching a long-term counter operation to effectively stand against it called, Liberdade. The Liberdade Initiative: Exodus Cry seeks to mobilize a 24/7 prayer room within the red-light areas in each of the 12 host cities that will pray for 31 days, the entirety of the World Cup, for the ending of sex trafficking and spiritual awakening in the nation.  Out of this 24/7prayer reality, intervention teams will be sent into the red-light areas to reach out to those being exploited.