ACTS Statement: 2007 Bi-Centeneray of the Passing of the Act Abolishing the Slave Trade

The Synod of Scotland of the United Reformed Church remembers with gratitude all those, slave and free, who worked to bring about the ending of slavery, for which the first step was the abolition of the British slave trade in 1807.

We acknowledge that many Christians were slow to speak out against the evils of the slave trade and that many were actively involved in it and profited from it.  We express sincere regret for this.

The legacies of the slave trade are still active in the world and we commit ourselves to working for reconciliation and for an end to both the economic imbalance between the powerful, rich nations and the poorer ones and to racism.  We call on governments to be particularly supportive of the nations inAfrica and in the Caribbean which bore the brunt of the effects of the slave trade.

We recognise that out of this economic imbalance comes an exploitation of poverty which has led to forms of de-humanising treatment of people such as trafficking in people and forced or bonded labour.

We commend the Christina men and women who are already working to combat these evils and call on their evils and call on the people of this church to find practical ways to support their effort.