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Prime Minister Bruce Golding, has acknowledged that the Church in his West Kingston constituency has played an important role in reducing crime.
Mr. Golding was speaking at the Healing and Restoration Service, at the New Testament Church of God, Beeston Street yesterday (Sunday, January 4).
“The Superintendent told me that in the West Kingston Police Division, murder was down by 60%…There were times when it was not so pretty. We must give thanks to the Churches because you minister to people and exalt the Bible. There have been times when it was rough, when coming to Church was a risk, but through your steadfastness, your unwillingness to give up, you have helped to create a new culture in West Kingston, a culture of tolerance and of respect,” the Prime Minister said. He also paid tribute to community and political leaders for playing a significant role in the culture change.
Prime Minister Golding, who watched the New Year arrive while attending a Church service in his constituency, reminded the congregation that the year will be more challenging than usual.
“This year is going to demand from all of us: the Government, politicians, communities, the police, but especially the Church, a response, an assertiveness, a commitment and declaration of purpose that perhaps we have never felt called to do before, ” Prime Minister Golding said.
The Prime Minister noted that the Church was a powerful social organisation that is still to exert itself in its fullness and called on the 380 congregations of the Church of God in the country to perform their special function.
“The Church of God is one of the largest Church organisations in Jamaica. I want you to be appreciative of the particular role and leadership that your Church is going to play. I have every confidence that you will, because you have been so much a part of our evolution that we as a people have gone through,” Mr. Golding said.
Mayor of Kingston, Desmond McKenzie, told the congregation that the Church can help to restore the best values and principles in society and that they should join with the private sector and Government to restore the nation to these values.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Jevene Bent, in her address told the gathering that if Jamaica worked in unity, as a family, community and Church, all would be well. She called on the Church to partner with the police, as the Force needed the Church’s support to fight the monster of crime.