Thu | Jul 19, 2018

Let's take back our parish! Hanover Christians march against crime

Published:Wednesday | December 28, 2016 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller

WESTERN BUREAU:

With a view of dispelling the argument that the Church is doing nothing to assist in eradicating crime from the Jamaican landscape, a handful of Christian believers took to the streets in Green Island, western Hanover last Friday, in what they described as "a march against crime, violence and all unlawful activities in

the parish".

This against the background that shootings and murders are on the increase in the parish, while other serious crimes are decreasing. The march, however, was aimed at heightening awareness against all illegal activities in that section of the parish, including drug abuse, child abuse, and domestic disputes, among others, with emphasis on shootings and murders, according to the organisers.

Led by the divisional president of the Hanover Neighbourhood Watch group and Pastor of the Calvary Gospel Assembly Church of God, in Pell River, Revern Grant; and Claudette Whyte, pastor of the Green Island branch, the believers joined together in prayer, song taking the two-and-a-half-mile trek from the Green Island High School to the crossroad beside the Green Island Police Station, which leads to the March Town and Cave valley areas.

all denominations welcome

"I have invited every denomination that is in the Green Island area. Adventist, Pentecostal, Church of God, those are the frequent ones in this area, even the Jehovah's Witnesses, I invited them in," Pastor Grant told The Gleaner.

"For us to work together, we have to work as a team. until we see that there is a problem and the crime is escalating while we are separating ourselves, so if we can come together it is one God, we might worship on a different day, or in a different building, we might even be called on a different name, but at the same time, we are all working towards the same end," he emphasised.

Grant described the day's march as a continuation of an initiative which started in the year 2014, and is repeated annually. He explained that the initiative came about through the formation of a group called the Christian Communities United for Change, which seeks to lend a voice against anything that is contrary to the moral standards of the nation.

Meanwhile, Whyte said she considers it a privilege to join in the march along with members of her congregation, as they have witnessed a radical change in the moral standards in their immediate community.

"We are involved in this march because we are living in a community which was a very peaceful community, a community where people could come out at nights, and it has gotten so bad now that even the church itself we hardly can have night services, a few of us come out because everybody is afraid of what is happening," she stated.

rural@gleanerjm.com