Letters to the Editor

Together we must stand against crime and violence

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Dear Editor,

The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) is deeply concerned about, and saddened by, the ongoing bloodletting in our country in spite of efforts of the Government; security forces; agencies such as the Violence Prevention Alliance, Peace Management Initiative, and others. The number of individuals 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 JCC offers sympathy to 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. It is, therefore, 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.

We have heard the concerns expressed and the appeal made by the Police Officers' Association regarding the need for mediation to resolve matters 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 watches; 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.

A world without crime and violence is possible through Christ Jesus, so we should continue to seek Christ and let our saviour be known. In all we do, we must seek to be good examples, leading lives that tell Christ's story.

Let us lay aside partisanship, pettiness, and anything that will distract us from collectively tackling this monster of crime and violence. We call on all to recommit to work at making our beloved island home 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.

Rev Gary Harriott

General secretary

communications.jcc@gmail.com

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