Houston's hidden underworld is being revealed. This month local churches are showing special screenings of a new documentary that pulls back the veil on the billion dollar business of sex trafficking.
The 90 minute film is called Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, produced by the international ministry Exodus Cry.
Houston is often seen as the leading city for sex slavery. Each year thousands of women and even girls are being sold for sex on our streets.
Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church sits on one of the main routes for sex trafficking in the United States, the I-10 corridor.
"It made me say, 'Let's pray. Let's start praying for these people who are trafficked," said Catherine Massey, a church member who helped organize the screening of the film.
Wednesday night the faithful filled the sanctuary to watch the hard hitting documentary about the global sex trade.
The film makers traveled across four continents to document disturbing trends, including where the slaves work and are kept confined. But what's on the screen could easily have been filmed in Houston.
"I think the roaring 70s and roaring 80s in Houston probably created a market. There's more sex for sale here than Las Vegas. Why? I'm still perplexed," said Cat French, a former sociology professor who has made it her personal mission to end human trafficking.
Every week French visits local brothels where she meets young girls forced into prostitution after either being abducted or lured with promises of legitimate work.
"One young girl last year she left home and within 15 steps of the front door she was contacted by a pimp. It's happening, and it's going on with complete impunity, complete impunity," said French.
The film's creators say the documentary is raising awareness among a population that tends to be naive about sex trafficking.
"The first response is usually righteous anger and people wonder how this could possibly be happening in my city. The second response is, 'How can I get involved?" said Morgan Goatley, Exodus Cry.
More than ever churches see the problem as theirs and one that can only be helped by prayer.
"We have to have divine help. Everybody would agree. We can't do it. We can't get our arms around it," said French.
If you would like to learn more about the documentary visit www.nefariousdocumentary.com