In Jamaica, Adventist Church Says No To Violence

Adventist marchers hold up banners in Central Jamaica in efforts to bring awareness to end violence in Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica, on Aug. 26, 2017. Image by Andrew Johnson

September 18, 2017 | Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica | Damian Chambers/CJC

Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventist Church members in St. Catherine marched in the streets of Portmore on August 26, 2017, calling for the end of violence in the Jamaican society.

The march was done in observance of the EndItNow program –a global initiative by the Seventh-day Adventist Church to raise awareness and advocate for the end of violence around the world.

According to Pastor Levi Johnson, president of the Central Jamaica Conference  in Jamaica, said the march was a call to end violence and abuse across the nation, as he addressed an audience of nearly 800 persons gathered at the Marine Park Community Center in Portmore as the EndItNow rally was culminating after the march.

“We have invited you here–women ministries leaders, youth, youth leaders, pathfinders and others, to make one big statement – we are saying NO to crime, violence and abuse,” said Johnson.

“Anywhere there is crime, violence and abuse, we are saying NO to it,” added Johnson. “Whether it is in the church, the ministry or anywhere else, we are saying NO to it.”

Rally participants during the enditnow awareness in Central Jamaica. Image by Andrew Johnson

The march was done by two groups – one group started at Independence City, moved on to Newlands Road, Naggo Head and to the Marine Park Community Center.

The second group marched from the Braeton Seventh-day Adventist Church on Hellshire Main Road, onto the Braeton Road and to the Community Center.

Each group held placards and banners with messages and appeals to end violence against women, men and children.

President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica Pastor Everett Brown was also present at the Rally and greeted the gathering.

“I want to challenge the members of the church to start treating each other with love and respect. And if we stamp out abuse within our homes, the rest of Jamaica will see us as the ideal and will join us in living the way God wants us to live,” said Brown.

Guest presentations were made by government leaders and non-governmental organizations.

Mr. Alrick Campbell, Deputy Mayor of the Portmore Municipality thanked the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the EndItNow initiative. He also challenged the church to use its influence against violence.

Lorrain Scarlett of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, shared that in 2016, 25 women were killed in gender-based violence incidences. “This is 25 deaths too many,” said Scarlett. She spoke about the various possible types of gender-based abuse and made an appeal to the audience to be aware of them so that they can take steps to put an end to all abuse.

The march and rally was organized by the Women’s Ministries department of the church in Central Jamaica Conference and the Jamaica Union.

The EndItNow initiative was launched in 2009 as a partnership between the Women Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency).

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Categories From the Field, RSS English | Tags: | Posted on September 18, 2017