Montague urges Jamaica to pray
National Security Minister Robert Montague and his opposition counterpart, Peter Bunting, have taken the lead, holding hands in prayer about the violence in the country, and they are encouraging Jamaicans to come on board.
The men joined in prayer at Tuesday's launch of the Jamaica Umbrella Groups of Churches' National Day of Prayer at Guardian Life New Kingston offices.
"We encourage Jamaicans from all across the country, from all walks of life, from every religious persuasion, of every social strata and every political strife and colour to join us in Half-Way Tree Square this Sunday ... ," said Montague. "Crime in Jamaica today is a multifaceted problem. It cannot be fought on one front. We did not get to our state overnight, and we certainly will not conquer it overnight," he declared.
"The blood of our brothers and sisters cry out from the ground. Babies, children, mothers, grandmothers, and the many innocent lives are viciously taken away at the hands of heartless, cold, dutty criminals," he continued.
According to the minister, 37 per cent of persons killed in Jamaica lost their lives to someone they knew, and in many cases, someone they trusted.
A CATALYST FOR ACTION
Bunting also highlighted the significance of the initiative being undertaken by the Church.
"I see the occasion of prayer and fasting as, in a sense, a catalyst, not an end in itself. I see that it will inspire tangible initiatives and actions through the Church and its membership," Bunting said.
Several ministers of religion were also in attendance at the launch and highlighted the importance of prayer at this time, in light of the forces perpetuating crimes in Jamaica.
According to the Reverend Cassel Dunkley, chairman of the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches, "We will gather to seek God's face for our nation that is struggling to bring crime and violence and road fatalities under control despite the efforts made by our law-enforcement community.
"The Church will be praying for and about the family, the Church, the nation's leaders, the law-enforcement community, crime and violence, the economy, education and youth, health and wellness, and healing."
The National Day of Prayer is scheduled for Sunday, July 31, in Half-Way Tree Square, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The stage will be located by the clock tower and, as such, there will be road closures, and vehicular traffic will be diverted from the area. Security will be provided by the Jamaica Constabulary Force and private security personnel.
Parking will be provided at the St Andrew High School for Girls and at surrounding plazas in the area.