|Church||American Baptist Churches USA|
|Title||The Reverend Doctor|
Lauran Bethell is an American Baptist missionary and human rights advocate residing in Eastern Europe. She is one of the founders of Chiang Mai, Thailand's New Life Center, in which former prostitutes or sex trafficking victims are provided with a Christian-based education aimed at making them literate and employable. She holds the position of Global Consultant with the American Baptist International Ministries. She is currently based in the Netherlands.
Bethell attended the University of Redlands. Soon after, she followed her childhood dream of visiting far-away countries and started teaching in Hong Kong in 1978 and a year later, visited Thailand. Inspired by seeing the prostitution district in Thailand, she founded and became the director of New Life Center in Chiang Mai in 1987. By 1995, the New Life Center, under her direction, was aiding approximately 120 women every day, teaching them vocational skills and enabling them to attend night school for literacy. She also worked with local police and families to remove women and children from brothels in Thailand.
In 2001, she began working as an international consultant on human trafficking and human exploitation for the American Baptist Ministries. In 2000, she testified for the United States Committee on Foreign Relations about sex trafficking. In 2003, she again testified about human trafficking at the United States House of Representatives. The next year, in July 2004, Bethell spoke at the pre-conference to the Baptist World Centenary Congress. In 2005, she received the Baptist World Alliance Human Rights Award.
In November 2006, Bethell spoke at an evening gathering in Orlando, Florida in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Baptist Churches USA. In March 2009, Bethell spoke at a conference called "STOP Sex Trafficking: A Call to End 21st Century Slavery" at Mercer University.
Bethell's philosophy is that prostituted children can recover from their abuse and said that those who suggest otherwise are "not giving enough credit to the power of the human spirit." Bethell also supports the "Nordic Model" of fighting prostitution.
- Greg Barrett (2008). The Gospel of Father Joe: Revolutions and Revelations in the Slums of Bangkok. John Wiley & Sons. p. 270. ISBN 0470328037.
- David Roach (June 20, 2008). "CBF focuses on prayer, women's ordination". Baptist Press. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- "Baptists work internationally to assist women trapped by sex trade". Ekklesia. February 3, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Andy Jayne (February 1, 2008). "Lauran Bethell Speaks About Sexual Exploitation At The New Baptist Covenant". Worldwide Faith News. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- "Sex Trade Lecture Planned at Church". The Register-Herald. 29 September 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Young, Narissa (13 October 2012). "Fight Against Sex Slavery Began With a Walk Down Street". Beckley Register Herald. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
- Fickett, Harold (2002). The Living Christ: The Extraordinary Lives of Today's Spiritual Heroes. Doubleday. ISBN 9780385505543.
- Buttry, Daniel L. (2014). Blessed Are the Peacemakers. Read the Spirit Books. ISBN 9781934879238.
- Carnes, Tony (1999). "The Anti-Madams of Asia". Christianity Today. 43 (11): 26. Retrieved 18 November 2015. (Subscription required (. ))
- "Helping Thai Prostitutes". Syracuse Herald Journal. 22 June 1995. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
- "Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Relations". United States Senate. GPO. 2000. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Elliot, Mark R. "Faith-Based Responses to Trafficking in Women from Eastern Europe" (PDF). Human Trafficking.org. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Pauline J. Chang (September 18, 2004). "BWA Plans Pre-Congress Conference on Evangelism". The Christian Post. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Andy Jayne (May 10, 2006). ""Living Hope" Inspires Attendees to Action". Worldwide Faith News. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Karen Bullock (2008). Leon McBeth, Michael Edward Williams, Walter B. Shurden, eds. "Baptists and Women and the Turn toward Gender Inclusion". Turning Points in Baptist History: A Festschrift in Honor of Harry Leon McBeth. Mercer University Press: 210. ISBN 0881461350.
- Andy Jayne (November 17, 2006). "Board Hears Plans For American Baptist Biennial/Centennial". Worldwide Faith News. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- "Mercer University hosts conference on sex trafficking". The Daily Citizen. March 18, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Thomas M. Steinfatt (2002). Working at the Bar: Sex Work and Health Communication in Thailand. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 266. ISBN 156750566X.