The effort to eliminate slavery was largely a Christian, western phenomenon.
Though it took more than a century and a horrific civil war to emancipate slaves in the United States, the abolitionist movement was a white Western invention. Other parts of the world remained wedded to slavery well into the twentieth century: slavery was legal in Ethiopia until 1942, in Saudi Arabia until 1963, and Mauritania until 1980. Today, one reads reports of slavery in Mauritania, Sudan, and in Islamist quasi-states in Iraq and Nigeria. As much as 15 percent of the population of Mauritania may be enslaved, according to the BBC. Estimates of those in bondage today run as high as 1 million people, mostly women and children.
Slavery has been a universal practice across all of time. In some places, it's still alive and well. This article gives a very useful perspective on something that is even now being used to demoralize the west, even though it was the west, more than anywhere else, that eliminated it.
Read the whole thing.