Pastor Brevitt: Let's support the security forces - Some church members fuming over SOE restrictions
While some Christians have not taken kindly to being forced to end their night church services earlier than normal because of the ongoing state of public emergency (SOE) in St James, Pastor Charles Brevitt, of the Glendevon Circuit of Seventh-day Adventist Churches, sees it as quite necessary and is only too willing to cooperate.
"As a church, we have been spoilt into requesting and expecting priority treatment, and in that regard, sometimes we are not open to cooperate," said Brevitt, who is known to be outspoken and quite strident.
"I don't believe it is deleterious to our church programme; our church used to start at 7 p.m., we now start at 6:30, and we used to dismiss at 9 p.m., and now we go up to 8:30. We cut the paraphernalia down to the bare essentials. We need to support the security forces in this regard."
Since the imposition of the SOE, the security forces have been asking churches that have night services going beyond the hours outlined in the SOE's timeline for businesses, churches and other entities to cut short their hours. The restriction has angered some church members, especially since places of entertainment are now allowed to go until 2 a.m.
"It is the Church that should get the extra time. The Church is not the problem, the church is a part of the solution," said a Christian who sees the restriction as interfering in God's business. "With all the demon things going on, they should be happy to see God's people promoting righteousness."
Important to close criminal loopholes - minister
Charles Brevitt, pastor of the Glendevon Circuit of Seventh-day Adventist Churches, said that it was necessary for the security forces operating under the state of public emergency, to carry out their duties effectively in terms of closing loopholes that criminals could slip through.
"It is difficult for the security forces to police the communities while there are so many people going about their business ... and they don't know who is who," said Brevitt.
"It is in the interest of the project that we minimise the people who are traversing the road because it's not difficult for individuals to disguise themselves as coming from church and move around for unlawful purposes." His position runs counter to that of other church members who reject the restrictions imposed by the security forces.
"It puts an added strain on the security forces to be searching everybody, so the less people they have to encounter, I believe the more efficient they can be," added Brevitt.