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anonymous PRAY FOR TRAFFICkED CHILDREN! April 21, 2008 6:34 AM

FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS!

There are 1.2 million Colis in the world today, children trafficked to work for the benefit of others. Those who lure them into servitude make $15 billion annually, according to the International Labor Organization.

It's big business in Senegal. In the capital of Dakar alone, at least 7,600 child beggars work the streets, according to a study released in February by the ILO, the United Nations Children's Fund and the World Bank. The children collect an average of 300 African francs a day, just 72 cents, reaping their keepers $2 million a year.

Most of the boys — 90 percent, the study found — are sent out to beg under the cover of Islam, placing the problem at the complicated intersection of greed and tradition. For among the cruelest facts of Coli's life is that he was not stolen from his family. He was brought to Dakar with their blessing to learn Islam's holy book.

In the name of religion, Coli spent two hours a day memorizing verses from the Quran and over nine hours begging to pad the pockets of the man he called his teacher.

It was getting dark. Coli had less than half the 72 cents he was told to bring back. He was afraid. He knew what happened to children who failed to meet their daily quotas.

They were stripped and doused in cold water. The older boys picked them up like hammocks by their ankles and wrists. Then the teacher whipped them with an electrical cord until the cord ate their skin.

Coli's head hurt with hunger. He could already feel the slice of the wire on his back.

He slipped away, losing himself in a tide of honking cars. He had 20 cents in his tomato can.

___

Three years ago, a man wearing a skullcap came to Coli's village in the neighboring country of Guinea-Bissau and asked for him.

Coli's parents immediately addressed the man as "Serigne," a term of respect for Muslim leaders on Africa's western coast. Many poor villagers believe that giving a Muslim holy man a child to educate will gain an entire family entrance to paradise.

Since the 11th century, families have sent their sons to study at the Quranic schools that flourished on Africa's western seaboard with the rise of Islam. It is forbidden to charge for an Islamic education, so the students, known as talibe, studied for free with their marabouts, or spiritual teachers. In return, the children worked in the marabout's fields.

The droughts of the late 1970s and '80s forced many schools to move to cities, where their income began to revolve around begging. Today, children continue to flock to the cities, as food and work in villages run short.

Not all Quranic boarding schools force their students to beg. But for the most part, what was once an esteemed form of education has degenerated into child trafficking. Nowadays, Quranic instructors net as many children as they can to increase their daily take.

"If you do the math, you'll find that these people are earning more than a government functionary," said Souleymane Bachir Diagne, an Islamic scholar at Columbia University. "It's why the phenomenon is so hard to eradicate."

Middle men trawl for children as far afield as the dunes of Mauritania and the grass-covered huts of Mali. It's become a booming, regional trade that ensnares children as young as 2, who don't know the name of their village or how to return home.

One of the largest clusters of Quranic schools lies in the poor, sand-enveloped neighborhoods on either side of the freeway leading into Dakar.

This is where Coli's marabout squats in a half-finished house whose floor stirs with flies. Amadu Buwaro sleeps on a mattress covered in white linens. The 30 children in his care sleep in another room with dirty blankets on the floor. It smells rotten and wet, like a soaked rag.

Buwaro is a thin man in his 30s who wears a pressed olive robe and digital watch. The children wear T-shirts black with f

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anonymous  April 21, 2008 2:12 PM

Children who are trafficked have become an enormous problem across the earth, and while this isn't exactly persecution, I have read of children kidnapped from Christian parents.
In any case, I just simply can not ignore that this is happening, and this is why I asked you to pray for these children and to write to your Senators, Representatives, Church leaders, and anyone who you know will be concerned. The more people know about this the more likely it is that something will be done, and I asked that you pray and ask others to pray. If 100 people pray and ask even one other person to pray that would make 100 + 100. If those 200 people asked one other person to pray that would be 200 + 200 people praying. Well, you get the idea. I'm not talking about chain letters, I am simply asking the body of Christ to join forces and pray for the people that are in need here in this group, including trafficked children. When you go to your church, prayer closet, prayer group, or where ever you choose, consider this request, please. With God's Blessings!
Yours sister in Christ,
Donna


This post was modified from its original form on 21 Apr, 14:13  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous  April 23, 2008 1:58 PM

Tens of thousands of Christian children have been sold into slavery,
and forced through torture and brainwashing to convert to the Islamic religion. This is all happening because Khartoum declared the Islamic law for the nation.
Ref. Patrick J. Buchanan
Ref. IDOP - Johan Candelin
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anonymous  April 23, 2008 2:05 PM

Children who are trafficked have become an enormous problem across the earth, and I believe this is persecution, parents are tricked or bribed or the children are kidnapped, and forced to labor and take a religion against their will! Many times abuse is involved.
In any case, I just simply can not ignore that this is happening, and this is why I asked you to pray for these children and to write to your Senators, Representatives, Church leaders, and anyone who you know will be concerned. The more people know about this the more likely it is that something will be done, and I asked that you pray and ask others to pray. If 100 people pray and ask even one other person to pray that would make 100 + 100. If those 200 people asked one other person to pray that would be 200 + 200 people praying. Well, you get the idea. I'm not talking about chain letters, I am simply asking the body of Christ to join forces and pray for the people that are in need here in this group, including trafficked children. When you go to your church, prayer closet, prayer group, or where ever you choose, consider this request, please. With God's Blessings!
Yours sister in Christ,
Donna

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