I bet the church today wishes it could still do this. Sci-News writes:
About one hundred of 2,200-year-old papyrus slave contracts have revealed that ancient Egyptians voluntarily entered into slave contracts with a local temple in the Egyptian city Tebtunis for all eternity, and even paid a monthly fee for the privilege.
“I am your servant from this day onwards, and I shall pay 2,5 copper-pieces every month as my slave-fee before Soknebtunis, the great god,” say the papyri from the temple city of Tebtunis, as translated by egyptologist Dr Kim Ryholt of the University of Copenhagen.
“Many chose to live as temple slaves because it was the only way of avoiding the harsh alternative [of forced manual labor]; the temple was simply the lesser of two evils for these people. And for the temples, this was a lucrative practice that gave them extra resources and money.”
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