BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 21, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Representatives of the religious community in St. Kitts and Nevis have put together a number of recommendations that will soon be implemented in an attempt to curb crime and violence in the Federation.
These recommendations, which include the revival of various youth-oriented groups, are being coordinated by the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs.
Acting Permanent Secretary in that ministry, Ron Dublin-Collins, said it is important that the church continues to have a voice and play an active role in national development, including crime reduction.
He said, “The church itself will have a unique and its own way to responding to crime and violence which will not necessarily be separate but it will be a Christian response, and so our pastors will meet shortly in conference to look at what will be done and how it can be sustained.”
Mr. Collins stressed that the first step was for them to bring the leadership of the various religious groups together for a unified approach.
“Our continued dialogue with the leadership of the Evangelical and Christian Councils in both St. Kitts and Nevis has been formalized through what we call now an Ecclesiastical Affairs Committee where all the heads will be represented. We have reached out to the Seventh Day [Adventist Church]—they will also be on board and the chaplains of the various security forces and one or two other ministers,” Mr. Collins stated, noting that whatever plans and actions are implemented in St. Kitts will be mirrored in Nevis as well.
“Some of the events we have been coordinating that are to come to Cabinet through the minister is the formalization of the school chaplains, which will begin in September, and they will now have a closer contact with the school community to help influence and impact what is happening there and so the church will now have a more formal part in the educational development of our young people. We believe that prayer is of utmost importance and that will never change and that is our first, continued and sustained response, and so two years ago we would have done the Season of Prayer and Fasting and our proposal is for that to become a national event; an annual period or season, week or day of prayer and fasting,” the Permanent Secretary explained.
Mr. Collins further noted that the church will have a stronger presence on the annual Independence celebrations calendar through the hosting of “our Zonal Prayer Services in both St. Kitts and Nevis and that will now form part of our annual Independence and our Festival of Praise.”
The Zonal Prayer Services are slated for Tuesday, September 12 at 7pm, while the Festival of Praise will be held on September 16, National Heroes Day.