Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Violence, road deaths concern churches

Published:Friday | July 22, 2016 | 7:00 AM

The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) has registered its deep concerns about recent incidents that have taken place across the nation, including the continued abuse and murder of children, deaths as a result of road accidents, the consequences of unmanaged anger, and violence taking place in some communities.

"We will not be able to realise our full potential as a nation if we continue these negative and destructive behaviours as a people," the council said in a release.

"While there is the need for some immediate action, the future requires creative and long-term solutions to address the crises with which we are faced."

As part of the way forward, the council said it was calling for members of the Church and all other well-thinking Jamaicans to participate fully in ridding the nation of these and other vices.

"The JCC believes it is not beyond us as a people to build a more loving and wholesome society. The JCC, therefore, calls upon everyone to play their part towards this end," the council said, noting that it stands ready to work in conjunction with other agencies to address some of the pressing challenges.

"The JCC is calling for:

- All parents, guardians and community members to become more vigilant in the care and protection of children.

- All persons to discreetly report to the responsible authorities cases of abuse of children and illegal activities.

- All motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to exercise greater responsibility in the use of our roads.

- All passengers to take greater responsibility for their safety by not allowing themselves to be driven carelessly or recklessly.

- All those who are in or are aware of situations of conflict to find non-violent ways of resolving these conflicts, such as finding a pastor or some other respectable community leader to assist in talking things over.

- All those who have access to illegal firearms to discreetly hand them over to the authorities.

- Members of the security forces to ensure that they exercise their powers with the highest level of professionalism and respect for the lives of citizens.

- The authorities to give serious consideration to the implementation of a gun and ammunition amnesty, notwithstanding the various perspectives regarding the effectiveness of such strategies.

- Government, private-sector, non-governmental organisations, and churches to be even more intentional and strategic in providing opportunities for the empowerment of people, especially youth.