The issues of poverty and injustice can seem so overwhelming that we feel powerless to make a difference. According to the United Nations, 4 billion people live life “far from the law’s protection.” For poor people in the developing world, violence is as much a part of everyday life as more familiar issues, like lack of clean water or access to medical care. We can be part of God's global mission by standing up for justice together as a church.

We are proud to be a flagship church in International Justice Mission (IJM)'s Justice Network. The largest organisation of its kind, IJM is a human rights organisation that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. It has ongoing operations in nearly 20 communities throughout South and Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to promote functioning public justice systems. Highlighted as one of 10 non-profits “making a difference” by U.S. News and World Report, IJM’s effective model has been recognised by the U.S. State Department, the World Economic Forum and leaders around the globe.

Since 2006 IJM has:

  • Rescued over 34,000 people from violence and oppression

  • Trained over 46,000 staff and community members in how to intervene in violent crimes

  • Helped 21 million people to be protected from violence

“Without IJM, I would still be in that brick factory today. When I see you, it gives me strength.”
—VASANTHI, rescued from forced labour slavery near Chennai, India

St Mark’s have been supporting IJM’s work for about 10 years, through hosting fundraising dinners, film nights and prayer events. In 2015, with our Christmas giving, we launched our partnership with an IJM’s office in Kolkata, which was established in 2006 to combat sex trafficking. IJM have provided training to nearly 20,000 Indian officials, and are seeing them respond with unprecedented mass enforcement actions against forced labour slavery on their own initiative. 7,600 former slaves have participated in IJM’s aftercare programme since 2006. Many have gone on to start their own businesses, and two have even been elected to public office. 

Charlie Thomson