Brethren church backs bus preachers

BY LUKE DOUGLAS Observer senior reporter

Thursday, January 10, 2013

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THE Christian Brethren Assemblies of Jamaica (CBAJ) -- a church group with 84 congregations islandwide -- has defended the right of persons to preach the gospel on the State-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses.

The church is calling on Jamaicans to resist foreign influences, which it says are undermining the country's long-held Christian values.

"Jamaica is a Christian country and has a long history of freedom of religion and freedom of speech generally. We believe Jamaica should continue in this Christian tradition," youth leader Daniel Thomas said at a press conference, yesterday.

Thomas, who said he has been preaching on buses from he was 13 years old, said Jamaicans should resist what he called the "cultural imperialism" being foisted on the country from overseas influences.

In November last year, JUTC Managing Director Real Admiral Hardley Lewin announced a ban on preaching on the buses.

Some passengers had complained about disturbance by some bus preachers as well as the solicitation of "offering" by others.

However, Thomas said the "absolute banning of preaching on the buses was not acceptable", and that issues such as peddling and the collection of money by preachers should be addressed separately.

Meanwhile, CBAJ board member with responsibility for education Ruel Reid said the 'Brethren' stands ready to join with other churches on the matters discussed.

The CBAJ also announced what it described as a holistic growth strategy in keeping with its mandate to stop the decline and foster growth in its 84 assemblies across the island.




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