One of the local sex shops (and there are many) periodically plasters the city with its posters, most of which feature scantily-clad or nude women. The posters could be worse, but they’re certainly not what I want visitors to Bucharest, little children, or young men such as myself to be bombarded with while walking along the streets.
The posters are pasted illegally. When the posterers (is that even a word?) get caught, they’re always fined. The sex shop always pays the fine, and then they go right back to breaking the law with another round of posters.
While I’m all for freedom of the press, there are times when censorship has its benefits. I just really don’t think it’s healthy for anything and everything to be out on the streets.
Tonight at Liberty Center, a couple Romanian anti-trafficking groups joined together to rent the theater and show the documentary Nefarious I: Merchant of Souls. I found out about it just this afternoon and had a bunch of things to do–I had a bunch of posters to put up and am in the middle of packing for my move tomorrow–but this is one movie I knew I had to see. (When I first heard about it two or three years ago, I knew I had to see it. But by the time it finally came near me, I had moved to Romania.)
My initial response was feeling overwhelmed, disgusted, hopeful, angry, helpless, hurt, guilty… all at the same time. It was a wild ride of emotions for sure as the documentary went all across the globe talking with all sorts of people, from former victims and traffickers to government officials and “johns.” The stories were heart-wrenching.
Humans are created as royalty, children of the greatest King, but look at what we do to each other….
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged film, human trafficking, justice, masturbation, merchant of souls, nefarious, pornography, reckless, safety, sex, sex industry, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, video, wisdom
It was late at night after the Good Friday service. I had planned to stay through to the midnight candle-lighting, but I kept falling asleep so decided to head home early.
When I saw her standing along the busy street, I immediately started going over Romanian phrases in my head. “Isus te iubeşte, Jesus loves you” and “Nu e viaţa, this isn’t life” were the two that seemed easiest and most intelligible. But then selfishness crept in, so I decided to lower my head and just hurry past without making eye contact.
As I approached, though, her need for money made my selfish attempt to ignore her fall on its face. She stepped right in front of me and blocked my path.
I keep an eye on the stats for my blog. It’s not really useful or productive in any way, but I’m often curious about what posts people are reading, how they find my blog, and how many people are returning readers. In particular, I’ve been watching two posts for the last few months, my two most popular ones: Romanian Prostitutes… Just Another Standard Hotel Amenity and All He Says I Am – Cody Carnes.
Although my Cody Carnes post had been the uncontested lead nearly since the day it was published, a few months ago, a serious challenge appeared in the Romanian prostitutes post. I’ve been watching intently the last few weeks as the gap between the two slowly but surely began to close. Last night, the two were only one view apart by the time I went to bed (702 to 701 views). As of this morning the Romanian prostitutes are now in the top position, with a small but growing 6-view lead (710 to 704 views).
This makes me sad. I know the average reader of my prostitution post is finding it it while searching for ways to get sex in Bucharest, not while searching for ways to help end human trafficking and sexual exploitation. It means more people are interested in continuing the exploitation of women and minors than in the things of God. 😦
But there is a bright side. We can all breathe a sigh of relief because Cody Carnes is no longer beating Romanian prostitutes.
(And, yes, I really did use up an entire post just so I could make that stupid joke.)
Our meeting with Andreea was very different from our meeting with Ryan and Andrea. Andreea is a recent college graduate and has a deeply passionate heart for seeing victims of human trafficking brought the freedom and justice they were made for. She studied law in college (her thesis was all about ending human trafficking) and spent some time working with IJM. She has traveled Romania learning the stories of those trafficked and trying to understand how to end this horrible crime.
Hearing Andreea tell the story of her mother’s friend who became a victim of trafficking put a very personal touch on things. Now, it wasn’t just ideas we were talking about but real people, people who knew someone I was talking with.
This last week, we met with two different people who have been working to end human trafficking in Romania. I didn’t take nearly good enough notes, so I won’t try to make this post a summary of the meetings. But I do hope to give some information about the issue.
Ryan and Andrea, a missionary couple sent out from the US, came here specifically to work towards ending human trafficking and bringing healing to those trafficked. They have been traveling across Europe meeting with individuals and organizations, trying to sort out fact from fiction and learn about the difficulties in this line of work.
My brother wrote a great article about the image of America in Romania. Check it out!
Hollywood, America’s Greatest Evangelist.