Over the past three years, more than 400 Nazarene congregations in various countries around the world have participated in Freedom Sunday. The event is a day set aside for prayer, worship, and support around the issue of human trafficking, which enslaves as many as 45.8 million people globally, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index.
This year, Nazarene churches are encouraged to participate in Freedom Sunday on September 24, 2017, the last Sunday of that month.
The Church of the Nazarene’s participation in Freedom Sunday began in 2014 in coordination with other denominations within the Wesleyan Holiness Connection (formerly Wesleyan Holiness Consortium). In the same year, the Church of the Nazarene’s Board of General Superintendents endorsed the Declaration for Freedom, a document drafted by the Wesleyan-Holiness leaders, including Nazarene representatives.
In the past, the event took place on the first Sunday of Lent. This year, the Wesleyan Holiness Connection’s Freedom Network decided to move the date to the last Sunday in September. In part, the change was to allow churches that plan traditional Lenten services to participate, and in part it was to create greater momentum and unity as additional churches and organizations have begun to participate in Freedom Sunday events.
Congregations are encouraged to plan a Freedom Sunday at any time that works in their calendar. Freedom Sunday planning resources are available as free downloads through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries at ncm.org/freedomsunday.