Revivalists feel left out of COVID-19 activitiesSaturday, March 21, 2020
The Spiritual Christian Revivalists Council of Churches (SCRCC) has criticised the Government for excluding the denomination from participating in the State's anti-coronavirus activities.
President of the SCRCC, Bishop Bryan Cameron, said that the failure of Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton to include the nearly 40-member group was evidence that the discrimination against revivalist churches has not ended.
Bishop Cameron gave the Jamaica Observer a copy of a letter which, he said, he had written to Dr Tufton about the treatment of his churches.
“Good afternoon to you Most Hon Minister, as president and CEO of the Spiritual Christian Revivalists Council of Churches, Sir, I am appalled of the fact that you only met with the Jamaica Council of Churches and their umbrella group of friends (churches) in light of the pandemic COVID-19 coronavirus, and didn't include us!,” Cameron said in the letter.
“Sir, we are a registered Christian organisation and should be recognised as such by the Government, our Government of Jamaica. The entire movement is very concerned and unsettled and restive about your segregated decision to not include us in the meeting you had with the Jamaica Council of Churches last Saturday!” he added.
“Sir, this e-mail will be sent/forwarded to the media, as we await your response explaining your reason as to why we were not included, or invited, to such an important meeting!” Cameron said.
He said the treatment reflects the lack of respect for Christian churches which continue to worship in the manner of their African foreparents.
“We believe that Government ministers don't support revival churches, and we believe the stigma stems from the belief that we practice Obeah, and that we are a cult. But, we are not,” Bishop Cameron noted.
He told the Observer that after it was founded eight years ago, the SCRCC sought to become a member of the Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC), but was denied membership.
“We told the JCC that we do not practice Obeah, but we worship in an Afrocentric way. We were then the Spiritual Revivalist Council of Churches and we deliberately added the word Christian to the name of our council, but they still rejected us,” Bishop Cameron explained.
“We do not work Obeah. We do not discriminate against people. We have doctors and teachers, etcetera, in our membership. We have young people too, but they are never asked to participate in youth activities.
“The only time they have use for us is during the Jamaica Festival and Heritage Week activities, when they mimic our way of worship,” he noted.
He said, however, that despite being ignored the council is registered under the Companies Act, and has its offices at 67 Church Street in downtown Kingston.