US church leaders charged with using homeless for ‘forced labor’

US church leaders charged with using homeless for ‘forced labor’


US church leaders charged with using homeless for ‘forced labor’

Leaders of a California-based church have been arrested on charges of imprisoning dozens of mostly homeless people and forcing them to panhandle six days a week for their benefit.

“The indictment alleges an appalling abuse of power by church officials who preyed on vulnerable homeless people with promises of a warm bed and meals,” US Attorney Robert Brewer said in a statement. “These victims were held captive, stripped of their humble financial means, their identification, their freedom and their dignity.”

The victims were required to adhere to a strict set of rules that prohibited them from reading anything other than the bible or discussing “things of the world.”

“This is the most significant labor trafficking prosecution in this district in many years,” Brewer said. “These cases are few and far between because many victims live in captivity and fear, powerless to report the crimes against them.”

Read more: Manila Bulletin News

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12 September 2019, Thursday News

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