THE Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches (JUGC) has used the murder of pastor Lynval "Marki" Lewis to again voice concern about the continued slaying of people across Jamaica.
The JUGC noted that Lewis became "another victim of the heinous nature of this ever-prevalent criminal activity, underscored by the fact that like so many other victims he was murdered in broad daylight in the presence of his closest relatives".
"It is disheartening that one who so selflessly gave of himself in the service of God and country, and whose life was dedicated to the upliftment of others, has been included with those so brutally cut down. May God grant everlasting rest to his soul and consolation to his family and church community," the group said.
The JUGC added that it is confident that the pastor's voice, though silenced, will never be forgotten or ignored and the messages of hope and peace which he proclaimed while he served will be a lasting witness of God's grace.
"It is lamentable that so many of our people have embraced a culture of violence. Jamaica now has the highest murder rate in the Caribbean. However, despite the alarm and concern which we feel, we have firmly resolved to fervently continue to promote peace, human dignity, and the sanctity of life.
"In addition, may all Jamaicans of goodwill resolve to promote due regard for human dignity in all social spheres of engagement as a contribution to diminishing violence and abuse of persons," said the JUGC.
The church group has issued an appeal to anyone who has information that may be useful in identifying the perpetrators of criminal activities to take the appropriate steps to tell the police.
Lewis, who was the pastor at Spanish Town Tabernacle and Greater Portmore Tabernacle, was shot several times by a gunman who is believed to have waylaid him as he drove from his house on North West 10th Way in Greater Portmore, St Catherine, on Monday afternoon.
So far the police have not established a motive for the killing.