A Northeast Minneapolis Church is working to combat human trafficking at a massage parlor in their neighborhood.[dropcap]F[/dropcap] or almost three years a Mill City Church group called “Captives Free” has been going for prayer walks, educating themselves on the business of human trafficking and praying for the victims enslaved in it. Now, their advocacy could soon shut the massage parlor down.
“We went in with eyes open, asking God what are you doing on our streets, and in other areas of human trafficking and prostitution,” said Associate Pastor ChristianAnn Larson.
It’s a crazy intersection of spirituality and government…
Their mission has been to “love the captives of human trafficking in Minneapolis the name of Jesus.”
Associate Pastor ChristianAnn Larson, is a part of the Captives Free group, and says after years of patience and prayer, they are close to shutting down a business where they believe illegal activity is taking place, called Central Sauna and Bath, on Central Avenue.
“Some of us went to Central Sauna and Bath, as curious citizens. I said I want to learn about what services they offer. The woman wouldn’t let me come in and stood in the door,’” said ChristianAnn. “We found them on NaughtyReviews.com and learned other disappointing and disgusting information about them that we submitted to the Minneapolis Police Department.”
The city of Minneapolis has recently created a new license required for legitimate massage and body work establishments to have to operate in the city. The Mill City Church team testified at public hearings about the illegal activity they believe is taking place at Central Sauna and Bath.
“This is God working through the government to have better protocols and justice in the land,” said ChristianAnn. “It’s a crazy intersection of spirituality and government, and ordinary people looking to give voice to what God cares about.”
God’s been doing something to revitalize and revive the businesses on Central Avenue.
Owners of Central Sauna and Bath have recently applied for the city’s Massage and Body Work Establishment License, so the Captives Free group asking nearby businesses and residents to write up community impact statements, encouraging the city to deny the business this licensure.
“God’s been doing something to revitalize and revive the businesses on Central Avenue, and given the evidence of what we’ve seen, we believe Central Sauna and Bath’s services endanger the families and kids in the neighborhood,” said ChristianAnn.
The Captives Free group is partnering with another ministry group called Annex Network. ChristianAnn said her group has felt convicted that God cares just as much about the perpetrators as the victims of human trafficking. She hopes that when the massage parlor gets shut dow n, their joint ministries will be able help the people whose lives are entrenched in human trafficking, find a different life.
If you or your church members have any concerns or comments about this business, send them to:
Nicholas Juarez, Crime Prevention Specialist, Minneapolis – firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Webb, Crime Prevention Specialist, Minneapolis – email@example.com