A global ministry is putting its spotlight on a worldwide threat to women and girls and calling for people everywhere to "combat the culture of violence."
As international Women's Day approaches on March 8, one of America's leading mission agencies is revealing a "hidden epidemic" that a staggering 90 to 100 million women are "missing or unaccounted for" globally. Most of them are presumed to be the victims of sexual slavery, abandonment, human trafficking, female infanticide, and sex-selective abortions.
Gospel for Asia (GFA) also reports that nearly 300,000 women and girls within the United States were reported as missing and murdered last year, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Hundreds of millions affected
Besides the approximately 100 million victims worldwide, hundreds of millions of their family members are suffering from the epidemic targeting women and girls, as pointed out by GFA founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan – whose faith-based nonprofit organization serves at-risk and exploited women and girls across Asia.
"We currently have a hidden epidemic around the world, with millions of parents, grandparents, spouses and siblings not knowing if their loved ones are still alive," Yohannan announced in a recent press release.
A new GFA report titled "An Imaginative Exercise in Empathetic Fear: Think About Living in a Community with Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women" shows that females, worldwide, are in danger at all stages of life.
"Around the world, women's lives are threatened from the womb to widowhood, and millions of girls won't survive to become mothers," GFA states.
The head of the mission agency challenges people around the world to get involved to counter the disturbing trend.
"How willing are we to enter into the suffering of others and turn our empathy into action?" Yohannan poses. "It's vital that we combat the culture of violence against women and girls – and shower this broken world with God's love."
His group has helped set up hundreds of facilities to provide services that keep young females from becoming another statistic.
"Across Asia, 600-plus GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centers support tens of thousands of girls who might otherwise be at risk of abandonment, exploitation, sex trafficking and the threat of vanishing without a trace," the release reports.
"Other GFA-supported projects provide vocational training and sewing machines for thousands of women – without such a gift, many would be forced to turn to prostitution just to survive and provide for their families."
GFA's report notes that 221,636 (74%) of the 298,190 missing females in America from the 2019 FBI report are under 18 years of age, with minorities – including Native American females – being statistically at higher risk of turning up missing.
"Our outrage over this global catastrophe should drive us to speak out, and our compassion should drive us to prayer and action," adds Yohannan, who for more than 40 years has led his Texas-based group to share God's love and provision with those in extreme poverty throughout Asia.