Christian Council Calls For Anti-Violence Support

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Anglican Church To Help Fight Crime

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
March 09, 2009 (CUOPM)

The St. Kitts Christian Council has called for the St. Kitts and Nevis society to stand up and declare its support for a national co-ordinated response to combat crime and violence in the twin-island Federation.

In a statement, the Council also called for the period 8th -14th March, to be observed as a time of prayer and fasting for national reconciliation and that Wednesday and Friday be days of fasting.

“In this regard, we ask that churches be opened for the populace to enter for times of prayer,” said the Council in a statement on the recent homicides.

“We state emphatically that the St. Kitts Christian Council continues to be available to work with the government of the day, other national agencies and organisations to formulate and implement a co-ordinated response to rising crime and violence with the punishment meted out to the perpetrators,” said the Council, adding:

“We ask that the entire society stand up and declare our support for a national co-ordinated response to combat crime and violence in the Federation.

The Council said that it was with agonising pain and a deep sense of dismay that as the heads of member churches of the St. Kitts Christian Council “we received the very disturbing news of another two execution-style killings last Wednesday, bringing the number of murders in the Federation thus far to seven.”

“Taken together with the horrific statistics of 23 homicides in 2008, we believe that there is every reason for the greatest concern,” said the statement.

Clearly, these apparently senseless and certainly brutal killings threaten the welfare and security of citizens and create a pervasive sense of anxiety at the national level.

“Indeed, such wanton destruction of human life not only generates a sense of chaos and insecurity, but is erosive of the social fabric, striking, as it does, at the very core and foundation of civilised society.

It said: So many brutal murders in so short a space of time is a powerful statement on how much some segments of our society have lost respect for the sanctity of human life with its related right and guarantee of individuals to a certain quality of existence.

Given the gravity of the matter, and at such a fundamental level, we consider it imperative that all individuals and sectors of our Federation consolidate efforts and resources in making a concerted response to rising crime and violence. Such a response ought to be constructive, urgent, prudent and effective.

Crime and violence is by no means merely a “government problem.”

It is rather a national concern. It goes without saying that different groups, organisations, institutions and agencies in our Federation will, of necessity, respond each according to its nature, scope and mandate.

In this regard, the St. Kitts Christian Council asks all its member churches and other Christian bodies and groups within the immediate localities of the killings to use the considerable pool of counselling skills available to them to respond with post trauma/bereavement counselling at the level of the communities directly affected and beyond. The council stands ready to be the co-ordinating agency to facilitate such responses.

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