Jamaica: As Murder Rate Soars, Adventists
Conduct Day of Prayer
esponding to climbing murder rates in Jamaica, hundreds of Seventh-day Adventist churches participated in a national day of prayer this weekend. The August 2 day of prayer came after Jamaica's prime minister announced a list of strategies to control crime.
Patrick Allen, Adventist Church leader for the island nation, acknowledged similar previous efforts by the government but said violence has not yet abated. Murder rates increased 13 percent last month, according to Jamaican newspapers. "As a church, we believe that we should employ the best weapon at our disposal -- prayer," Allen said.
Members of more than 650 churches were expected to pray for both peace and prosperity. Widespread poverty in Jamaica is often cited as a catalyst for crime. Members prayed for wisdom for Jamaica's national leaders, church officials said.
Among Prime Minister Bruce Golding's strategies to quell violence is an effort to build more homes for the nation's homeless. Offerings collected on the Day of Prayer are expected to go toward this fund, Allen said. "The Adventist Church is always willing to support such requests by the government to ... better the lot of those who are in need," he said, urging members to give "freely and abundantly" to the fund.
--Adventist News Network