Sunday 27 September, 2020

Churches must become active in achieving peace – Custos of St James

Bishop Conrad Pitkin (centre), Custos Rotulorum of St James, shares a word of prayer at the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast. Joining him on stage are Prime Minister Andrew Holness (2nd left) and Opposition Leader Peter Phillips (2nd right). Photo: Marlon Reid

Bishop Conrad Pitkin (centre), Custos Rotulorum of St James, shares a word of prayer at the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast. Joining him on stage are Prime Minister Andrew Holness (2nd left) and Opposition Leader Peter Phillips (2nd right). Photo: Marlon Reid

Bishop Conrad Pitkin is calling on churches in Jamaica to actively play a part in helping to reduce the nation’s crime rate.

Speaking at the recent National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB), Pitkin, who also serves as Custos Rotulorum of St James, appealed to Jamaicans to start the process of peace within themselves. He said this would help the nation to be successful.

Referring to three murders that took place recently, in which men killed the women they had relationships with, Pitkin said that the church must begin to quell the aggressions of Jamaicans.

He said: "It (murders) speaks loudly to the aggression in our society. The lack of ability to find resolutions to conflicts.

"We need to get out of the four walls of our sanctuaries and be more visible and vigilant in our communities. Not only be seen, but our influence needs to be felt as a church in this country.”

Pitkin, a pastor at Faith Gospel Assembly of God, also reminded that the church is “the largest constituency in this country and should make a difference to this nation.”

According to Pitkin, peace is more than a concept of societal friendship; harmony; the absence of hostility and violence and freedom from fear of violence but instead, a sense of wellbeing in each individual.

He said: “We cannot survive as the human race if we continue to kill and destroy one another. We cannot survive and thrive as a nation, without harmony, unity, cooperation and good relations."

Pitkin also addressed what he called the "twin brothers of corruption of and crime", which he said is holding Jamaica back. He said it stretches across demographics and need to be tackled for Jamaica to achieve Vision 2030.

National Prayer Leadership Breakfast 2020

Click the gallery for more photos by Marlon Reid

The church leader also said Jamaica must fight the breakdown in family life, lack of respect for others, lack of inclusion among the poor in depressed communities and injustice.

“We need to be a more loving, caring and just society where aggression is minimised, where inequity and inequality are directly addressed. There is economic inclusion, enabling all Jamaicans to share in the wealth and prosperity that we all will work together to achieve.”

Meanwhile, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, said Jamaicans must dismiss the notion that the NLPB has lost purpose and significance. According to Allen, without events like NLPB, the prayer vigil, Heal the Nation Heal the Family, Day of Prayer and the involvement of persons of faith across the island, the crime situation in Jamaica would have been worse.

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