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Jamaica is failing, but there is hope, says Baptist Union president

Thursday, February 20, 2014 | 7:12 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaica Baptist Union President Rev Luke Shaw said Jamaica is failing as a country, but there is still hope if the church fulfils its mission and if the island’s stakeholders enter into partnership for the betterment of the country.

Rev Shaw, who spoke at the opening service of the 164th General Assembly of the Jamaica Baptist Union Wednesday, asserted that the country has “experienced religious, political, social, moral, judicial, and economic failure”. The Baptist leader said “the church, security forces, the judicial system, the banking sector, the private sector, the public sector, the family, and the education sector must each acknowledge their contribution to failure within the nation”.

He said there is room for greater partnership between the “private and public sector, church and government, community and families, in order to stem the tide of crime and social decay”.

Rev Shaw urged the “nation and its leaders in the various sectors to renew commitment to protecting the sanctity of human life”.

Business leaders, he said, “are called to practise equity in management and financial dealings”. Government and public officials are to practise “integrity of lifestyle and honesty in dealings”.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Grounded in Faith’, Rev Shaw called on Christians to express radical faith in God and faithfulness to God at all times. He urged, “The one who is right with God is the one who puts self at risk, so that God will prevail.”

He appealed to the church to do more in terms of community interventions and justice initiatives on behalf of children and other vulnerable members of the society, a release from the Jamaica Baptist Union said late Thursday.

The church should assume leadership in confronting the nation’s ills, Rev Shaw declared. “Who will cry out in compassion for justice denied, justice delayed in the lives of so many persons, families and communities in Jamaica? How long church! How long before we wake up!”

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