Jamaica paying a high price for lack of peace, says church leader
President of the Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC), Bishop Christine Gooden-Benguche says the absence of peace in many homes and families, and in numerous communities across the island, has come at a high price in both economic and psycho-social respects.
“Oh, how we need this peace in our world today,” said Gooden-Benguche in her Christmas message as she urged Jamaicans to embrace the peace which Jesus Christ embodied. Such peace she said would result in a gentler, less violent society.
“Our nation has seen continued high levels of homicides which leave families ravaged and impoverished and communities cowering in fear. Many among us have suffered the horrors of gender-based violence, intimate partner violence and domestic violence. Many of our children have been killed and abused,” the JCC president said.
She said the high levels of disrespect and incivility which too many Jamaicans display is lamentable.
“The disregard for and departure from sound traditions of the past and best practices, which are shown by some of our leaders compound the growing levels of apathy, belligerence and cynicism which many of our people display toward structure and order. We need to hear and heed the message of Advent and the promise of Christmas once again,” Gooden-Benguche added.
Continuing, she said “We can have right relationships with God and harmonious relationships with each other. In such relationships no one loses and everyone wins. This is so because the promotion and practice of peace means that we protect our relationships with and look out for the well-being of our neighbours. It also means that we strive for the wholeness of all members of our families, our communities and our nation. Therefore, the peace-makers are active participants in the reign of God”.