'Too much blood has been shed'

'Too much blood has been shed'

Bishop calls on Church to do more to stem crime, violence

Friday, January 17, 2020

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THERE is yet another call for the Church to do more to help quell the crime and violence with which the country has been grappling. This time, the call has come from a member of the clergy.

Bishop Conrad Pitkin, who was speaking at the 40th Annual National Leadership Prayer Breakfast at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston yesterday, renewed the call against the background of a recent, much-publicised murder/suicide in Portmore, St Catherine, and another murder in Brickley, St Elizabeth.

“…It speaks loudly to the aggression in our society — the lack of ability to find the solution… We need to do more. It is more than preaching, we need to get out of the four walls,” he said to resounding applause.

Bishop Pitkin, who is also the custos of St James, went further: “We need to be more visible and vigilant in our communities; not only be seen, but have influence… in this country.”

Highlighting that the Church is the largest constituency in Jamaica, Pitkin said: “We can and should make a difference to this nation!”

At the same time, he urged Jamaicans to devote their life to one of peace.

“Let us be willing to resolve our differences through mediation and not through the gun, or any other weapon of personal destruction. Too much blood has been shed in this land. It has to stop, and it takes each of us; we need to stop pointing fingers at each other and say, 'Let it begin with me in my corner where I am, I will stand for peace. I will stand for that which is right, and I will exude love out of my heart, the love of God to all mankind'. Let us commit our lives to Christ, the giver of eternal life, and we must have peace,” Pitkin explained.

Meanwhile, a report from the Jamaica Constabulary Force disclosed that just 15 days into 2020, there has been an increase in murders. According to the statistics, up to Wednesday, 49 people have been killed since the start of the year, 11 more than the corresponding period in 2019, which represents a 29 per cent increase.

Also up to Wednesday, 38 shootings were recorded, which is one more than the corresponding period last year.

There has, however, been a decrease in other crimes.

No cases of larceny have been reported up to Wednesday compared to the corresponding period in 2019, when seven were reported.

Also, there have been 20 cases of rape, 10 break-ins and 32 robberies.

— Racquel Porter

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