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Over the post-slavery years, the church has played a significant role as society’s moral conscience, moral compass as it were, by not only speaking out against wrongs but also seeking to assiduously correct them, based on principles adumbrated by Christ to be our brothers and sisters’ keepers and do unto others as you would like to be done unto.
There was a period in this country when we saw the Bishops of the Anglican and Catholic Churches collaborating to speak out against what they considered as violations and transgression committed by the government in the name of the state.
The church at that time played a major role in influencing the behaviour of public officials in making sure citizens’ rights were respected, regardless of race, class, belief or political persuasion.
Over recent times we are witnessing a major shift from what has for years been considered an established moral pinnacle of the church.
The church speaks volume with its deafening silence on the government’s human rights violations and excesses. The church remains silent as the Jagdeo/Ali regime uses the state’s resources to marginalise sections of society and commit extrajudicial murders by the police.
Instructively as the church remains silent to regime’s excesses and wrongdoing, it has broken its recent tradition of silence to join with the Police in establishing a Fallen Heroes Foundation to help deceased loved ones.
Whereas I am not opposed to families being supported, I would advocate for the support to be tangible. For instance, if a police officer dies in the line of duty, he or she should be assured their spouse and dependents could have a roof over their heads, free of liability. If the family was renting, provide them with a house, and if the family owns a house but has an outstanding mortgage, support should be given to defray the liabilities.
Although it is welcoming to see the church playing a role in the Foundation such public presence must move from the superficial to the substantial.
The church must be reminded of its moral responsibility to society. Leaders cannot turn a blind eye to the wanton destruction committed by the Jagdeo/Ali regime in the name of the state on the people of Mocha, East Bank Demerara; and in Amelia’s Ward, Linden, to name a few. To do this runs the risk of being accused of complicity with wrong doings as done by some church during slavery.
The church cannot tell society it is unaware of what all and sundry knows when the church is part of society.
It is public knowledge whenever persons perceived as supporters of the regime occupy land all efforts are made to have the lands regularise and ownership transferred to the occupants. On the other hand, where lands are occupied in a community predominantly by Africans the regime moves with indecent haste, carrying out the most brutal acts of inhumanity, to destroy these persons possession and assets in order to dispossess them.
Leaders of the church are being urged to rethink today whom they serve, who are their congregations, and what are the principles adumbrated and upheld by the faith. For the Christ we know of in the Holy Bible and serve, would have already sounded His voice against the national atrocities inflicted on His children by a wicked, ruthless, and heartless regime.