The Jamaica Council of Churches JCC, says it’s outraged at the loss of life and injury connected with the recently reported religious tragedy in Montego Bay, St. James.
Three people were killed and three others wounded in what has been described as a cult-like ritual at the Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries, in Albion on Sunday.
The Council says its offers comfort to those who mourn the loss of loved ones and associates and prays for the recovery of those who were wounded.
The Jamaica Council of Churches is commending the security forces for their alert and expeditious intervention which appears to have averted further harm or loss of life, especially noting with relief reports that children were rescued and are now safe.
The group adds that it offers encouragement and support as the tragic series of events is fully investigated.
According to the JCC, this dreadful incident understandably turns the spotlight on the place and practice of religion and faith in the life of a nation and its people. It adds that the value of religion and religious belief systems, as parts of the human experience, are well known and have been extensively studied and documented.
It states that more particularly, the expressions of faith within the christian tradition have been the bedrock on which the nation has been built, noting that national heroes Paul Bogle, George William Gordon and Sam Sharpe and several of national symbols are all testaments to this tradition.
The JCC says it affirm that genuine expressions of faith are life-affirming and life-sustaining and supportive of the rule of law. It points out that true christian faith unequivocally upholds the sanctity of life, based on the biblical understanding that all human beings are made in the “image and likeness of god”.
It adds that it denounces and condemns all forms of religious practices which exploit and endanger persons and expose them to harm or distress, as this is wholly inimical to the gospel of love whose progenitor and exemplar is Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
The council is calling on all Jamaicans to exercise critical discernment in all spheres of life, especially in spiritual and religious endeavours.