Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says the church must reassert itself in the society noting this was an even more urgent task given the pain, suffering, despair and injustice that pervades the world.
“The church is a critical institution in the life of the nation and while Government might be charged with steering the process of economic growth and development, the church must provide hope and assurance, but along with other stakeholders has a role to play in the sustained peace, order, security and prosperity of the nation.”
The Prime Minister’s remarks were delivered at yesterday’s opening reception of the Baptist World Alliance annual gathering in Ocho Rios, St. Ann (July 1-6), by the Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley.
The Prime Minister called on the Baptists known for their fight for freedom to use the world gathering as an avenue for redoubling their role and mission, and renew its leadership in defence of what is right, just and desirable, adding: The principles which Baptists like National Heroes- Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle and George William Gordon, and others have stood and fought for and which have been etched in Jamaica’s history are the same principles on which we must build our country.
“The principles which drove the Baptists into action back then remain as necessary today. These are the principles that our Christian faith exhorts us to live by: the principles of love; compassion; respect for each other and for one’s body; equality; commitment to service; justice; honesty; integrity and regard for God’s precious gift of life. If we are to build and overcome, I believe there needs to be a global movement to once again have these principles central to our lives and etched in the hearts and minds of our people” the Minister read.
Meanwhile, in his remarks, Governor General His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen commended the local and international Baptist movement noting that the Baptist Union in Jamaica has been doing a wonderful job particularly in the critical area of education.
The Baptist World Alliance under General Secretary, Jamaican Rev Neville Callam has brought over 400 delegates to its annual gathering under the theme, In Step With The Spirit, providing the global Baptist leadership with an opportunity for theological reflection and decision making. The Alliance is present in over 120 countries worldwide.
Contact: Communications Unit-OPM