Let the prayers remain in schools

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Dear Editor

I have noticed persons have increased the call to take prayers out of school. One letter writer has opined that prayers should also be removed from “RDCs, NDCs and Municipalities meetings, and more so, the National Assembly sittings (where least of the divine quality is ever see)”. One might want to argue that the places mentioned deserve some real prayers as often as possible.

I cannot and would never agree to have prayers taken out of schools or removed from government meetings. History has taught us that after severing ties with the British Empire, Guyana’s state religion was known to be Anglicanism and the domination of Christian values prevailed. Many of our public schools back then were founded by the Anglican and Catholic Churches hence the custom of having prayers in school. However, over time Muslim and Hindu values were incorporated and gained equal status in the nation, some schools even had and up to this day still have religious student groups.

Our constitution in article 145 protects our freedom of thought and of religion. It allows us to manifest and propagate our religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance in both private and public settings. In this light Governments continue to acknowledge and create an environment for persons of different religions to coexist, while as a nation we observe various religious holidays.

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As a people we need to be very careful of our personal desires and its effects on others and more so the perception that can be had from same, which I won’t discuss in this letter. We must make sure that we find ways to keep our people together and not suggest or implement policies that can be seen as divisive in nature.

Prayers should remain in schools and at Government meetings, a simple approach to ensurung that all are comfortable is to afford persons the right to say their own prayer acknowledging their diety or God.

Like it or not we are a multicultural, multiethnic, multi religious nation that is plagued by division. Hence we should never suggest to our youth that the way to deal with something or someone that you are not in agreement with is to ostracize it or them. We must learn to accept and respect that ones belief, culture and religion is not superior to another but rather they all have a critical role to play in uniting us as a people and we can coexist for the betterment of our beloved nation.

With that said, let the prayers remain in schools and if possible give students a five minutes break to pray for the nation and its leaders in their various religious groups.

Regards
Clayon F. Halley



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