Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Council of Churches saddened by crime spike despite stakeholders' efforts, promises to help

Published:Monday | January 15, 2018 | 12:03 PM

The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) says it is deeply concerned about, and saddened by, the ongoing bloodletting in our country in spite of efforts of the Government of Jamaica, security forces, agencies such as the Violence Prevention Alliance, Peace Management Initiative and others.

The JCC says the number of persons murdered since the start of the year is a stark statement that the bloodletting will continue unless we, as a country, rise up and act more decisively to affirm the ethic of life and protect the dignity of each human being, remembering always that we are created in the image and likeness of God.

The Council says it sympathises with all the families and associates who are grieving the death of their loved ones on account of violence.

"This problem belongs to all of us who mean our country well and therefore let us stand together and play our role in bringing all perpetrators to justice.

"That includes sharing what we know. Notwithstanding, it is of critical importance that our citizens are guaranteed the highest level of trust and confidentiality by members of our Police Force that will inspire them to share such information," the JCC says.

It further says "We have heard the concerns expressed and the appeal made by the Police Officers Association regarding the need for mediation to resolve concerns regarding the role and alleged actions of the Minister of National Security.

"In the interest of our Country's well-being, as church, we stand ready to assist in any way possible".

"We call on our churches to stir the communities in which they are located to: revitalise the Neighbourhood Watch Programme; develop meaningful developmental programmes for our young people; double our efforts in the spiritual formation of our children and youth; seek to establish partnerships with both public and private sector bodies toward an end to crime and violence; be in prayer and fasting about the issue; and where possible facilitate conversations with perpetrators with a view to help them come to a place of preserving human life". 

"Let us lay aside partisanship, pettiness and anything that will distract us from collectively tackling this monster of crime and violence," say the JCC.

The Council says it is calling on all to recommit to work at making Jamaica the paradise God intended it to be and a place where we look forward to living, working, raising families and doing business in keeping with our 2030 vision.