Presbyterian church of T&T moderator Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan is calling on its congregations, and their ecumenical and inter-faith friends, to devote part of Sunday’s worship to pray in honour and remembrance of all victims of violence.
“Whether we light a candle or many candles, whether we offer special message, hymns, songs or liturgical dance, we are doing it together. It is never too late! What better day to engage in collective prayer and remembrance for victims of violence, when the world observes the gift of love.”
The PCTT, she said, is appalled and condemns unequivocally the overwhelming violence and escalation in crime in the nation.
“The latest murder victim Andrea Bharatt, has underscored the character of brutality that our society has become, especially against our women. The callous and carefree tone of abuse has branded us a nation of sycophants. The migrant population has also felt the brunt of violence, abuse and xenophobia within our island state. Is anyone listening?”
She added, “Violence and crime of all forms seem to be overwhelming our country. Over the past few months in the midst of a global pandemic, many have lost their lives, even families wiped out alongside one another, others violently robbed in their own homes. We are witnessing a proliferation of crimes associated with gangs, drugs, corruption, white-collar and domestic abuse, alongside gun violence, crossing barriers of age, gender, race and religion.”
However, Abdul-Mohan said gender-based violence is a systemic problem that requires a systemic approach to alleviate it.
She said, “It is very simple to point to a particular societal failure but that is equivalent to losing sight of the forest through the trees. It is not correct or acceptable to await for a profound enunciation from our leaders, because they do not have such a thing to offer. It is equally futile to expect any one official body to solve this problem or engage in a blame-game. No, we need an all-in approach. We need an effective partnership among all institutions of this country.”
She urged citizens to pray that God will reveal to all stakeholders some concrete actions to be taken regarding violence and other social ills.
“Perhaps God is calling us to devise a structured family life education programme in our churches and schools, that treat with the core values of what it means to be human, and to engender in the next generation especially our youth, children, young men and boys, to respect and honour the sanctity of human life, she noted.