Christmas sets us free; and if the memory of William Wilberforce and the great campaigners against slavery means anything, it sets us free to set others free. It breaks open the prison of blind selfishness, it challenges the lazy way in which we take for granted the misery of others as a background to our lives. So Christmas now should prompt us to ask, ‘Whose misery are we taking for granted and not noticing? Where are today’s slaves?’ The coming year will have a lot of events that should help us look for answers to these questions – though most of us know some of the answers: child soldiers, victims of sex trafficking, people who have lived for decades in an environment of ceaseless violence or who have lost their homes or countries through this violence.
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