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The June 9, 1917 issue of The weekly gospel featured a shocking photo on its cover – a photo of 10 prostitutes in Japan, locked behind a window with bars. The caption read: “Sold! Don’t you care that we perish? This image of sex slavery was intended to inspire readers to pray and support the ministry of William and Mary Taylor, the first Assemblies of God missionaries who helped free women involved in prostitution in Japan.
The caption under the photograph further describes the plight of the women: “Sold to work poorly, the conditions of thousands of these poor girls are pitiful indeed. These hopeless slaves are dolled up, painted and powdered, then exposed to the gaze of all passers-by, whose trade they are supposed to solicit.
The Taylors and their ministry colleagues, through the Door of Hope Mission in Kobe, Japan, worked tirelessly to free a woman who was caught up in a life of sex trafficking. Prostitution had first been legalized in Japan 300 years earlier, in 1617. In an article by the weekly gospel, William Taylor described the disastrous consequences of the sex trade. He pleaded with readers to pray for women – whom he called “someone’s daughter, someone’s sister”.
Christians must not remain silent about the evil of sex trafficking, Taylor warned. He quoted the scriptures: “Open your mouth to the dumb in the cause of all who are doomed. Open your mouth, judge with righteousness, and defend the cause of the poor and the needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9).
William and Mary Taylor, citizens of Great Britain, first arrived as missionaries in Japan in 1905 and were sent by the Japan Evangelistic Band, an evangelical missionary organization. William Taylor was the second cousin of Hudson Taylor from the China Inland Mission. They returned to Britain on furlough in 1910 and were baptized in the Holy Spirit. They transferred their credentials to the Pentecostal Missionary Union of Great Britain and returned to Japan in 1913, then to the American Assemblies of God in 1917. They were among the first Pentecostal missionaries to Japan and continued their work with victims of Japanese sexual relations. deals until the 1920s.
The story of William and Mary Taylor illustrates that veteran evangelical missionaries became some of the earliest Pentecostal missionaries, and that the Assemblies of God from its earliest years has supported the ministry to meet people’s deepest spiritual and social needs. of the whole world.
Read William J. Taylor’s article, “Then I Opened My Mouth,” on pages 1 and 3 of the June 9, 1917, issue of The weekly gospel.
Also featured in this issue:
• “Pictures of Pentecost in the Old Testament”, by Alice E. Luce
• “Fragrant Roses on Thorny Bushes, or God’s Encouragement Along the Way”, by Max Freimark
And much more!
Click here to read this issue now.
pentecostal gospel and The weekly gospel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.