Church group plans big anti-gay march next Sunday
THE leadership of Prayer 2000 — a partnership prayer ministry — has called on all churches across the island to participate in a 'peaceful prayer march' next Sunday, ahead of the hearing of an application challenging the constitutionality of the buggery law by the Supreme Court on June 25.
The claim was filed by United States-based advocacy group AIDS-Free World on behalf of Jamaican Javed Jaghai. The group is asking the court to determine if the anti-sodomy law breaches rights guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms which was passed into law in 2011.
The initiative, dubbed, "Jamaica Mercy Cry", will see churches from the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, Portland, St Thomas, St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, and in Eastern St Mary gathering outside the Houses of Parliament on Duke Street in downtown Kingston at 2:00 pm.
Meanwhile, churches from the parishes of St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, St James, Trelawny, St Ann, and in western St Mary will gather on the grounds of the Trumpet Call Ministries Church in Montego Bay at 6:00 pm the same day.
President of Prayer 2000, Rev Dr Naila L Ricketts, in an invitation circulated to churches last week, said the pending action marked a very serious crossroads in the nation's history.
"Our constitutional rights to preach the truth of God's word is also threatened and, should the law be repealed, what you and I preached may be termed "hate speech" and will make us criminally liable before the courts in Jamaica," Rev Ricketts warned.
"The removal of the buggery law may result in the legalisation of same-sex relationships and marriages, which "would have far-reaching effects for us as a nation," he contended.
"In the sight of God we will position ourselves as a covenant-breaking society without natural affections. For you as pastors and leaders, you may lose your freedom to preach the undiluted Word of God, you may no longer be able to stand with scripture on this moral issue of same-sex relationships - which the Lord clearly outlines, is an abomination to Him," the Prayer 2000 president stated.
"It is a direct attack at the institution of marriage. This will open the way for homosexual curriculum to be taught to our children from an early age in our school system; that same sex relationships is "normal" and that it is a viable alternative for everyone," Rev Ricketts added.
Noting that the voice of the church must be heard now, he said "the only way to stop our laws from being changed is for the church and the people to rise up in peaceful prayer to protest this direct attack on our freedom".
He added: "We must do this now, let us all take a stand or bear the consequences of our lack of action and muteness. This is a final clarion call for all pastors, leaders, believers to stand up and to let our Parliament and Government know that we will not accept this in our nation."
"We are calling all denominations, all churches and all believers to gather in your numbers and demonstrate your support at any of the two locations on Sunday, June 23," he said.
"This is our final chance, our final opportunity to make our voice be heard. We need the masses to gather and pray and march for our freedom. We need each and every one of us to stand and be counted," he said.
Prayer 2000 was created and mandated to sufficiently raise the awareness of the need for prayer throughout the society in order to facilitate the transformation and revival of the country.
The partnership includes a cross section of individuals from numerous denominations.