The Jamaica Umbrella Groups of Churches (JUGC) says the present levels of crime and violence in the country, particularly murders, are wholly unacceptable to the church and all law-abiding citizens.
In a statement, the JUGC said it stands firmly against all forms of crime and violence and has resolved to provide solutions that will help to transform communities into safe spaces of peace, harmony, unity, and peace.
“The JUGC will therefore engage all churches in a Time of Prayer for the Nation on Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31, 2022. Church leaders will be asked to insert into the regular schedule of worship a period of prayer beginning at 10:30 a.m.
- “The congregations will be led in offering prayers for the return of peace to our troubled communities, the restoration of respect among our people, and the renewal of love in the nation through prayers for the victims of violent crimes, the agencies, and institutions which provide support, the justice system, and the government.”
The Jamaica Umbrella Groups of Churches also said it recognized the widespread need for the churches to be places where people can go for relief, solace, and strength.
“Therefore, the JUGC promotes the sanctuaries of churches as Places of Prayer and Peace which will be available and accessible to all those who are distressed, disturbed, and downhearted. JUGC invites these persons to come for assistance to find peace, forgiveness, healing, and wholeness through prayer, a ‘listening ear’ and a wide range of other forms of support.
Despite the various states of emergencies that have been implemented since 2019, Jamaica continues to record a high number of murders. As of July 6, Jamaica has recorded 760 murders compared with 739 for the corresponding period last year.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force says 595 gun-related murders this year as against 654 for the same period in 2021.