ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
The St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Christian Council says they are “concerned” about the recent development reported in the media where the Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves was injured during a demonstration outside The House of Assembly on August 5.
In a statement, the Council noted that while the nation’s democracy allows for the freedom of expression which derives from dignity as human persons, “freedom brings with it responsibility.”
Founded in 1969, the SVG Christian Council is a fellowship of various churches including, but not limited to Methodists, Catholics, Spiritual Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, and Evangelicals.
The injuring of the PM by a protester demonstrates a certain intolerance of divergent views, opinions, and positions.
“The Council continues to abhor violence and urges those who choose to protest to do so peacefully and responsibly. We encourage those who organise protest to make every effort to ensure they are peaceful and ask that all our leaders avoid incendiary language,” the Council said.
They also expressed concern about the “immaturity” that has pervaded society and its politics where the justification of one wrong is another, which often leads to both sides of the political divide pointing to the short-comings or previous actions of the other as excuse from responsibility.
“We encourage our political leaders to be clear and unambiguous in discouraging violence and to act responsibly in navigating differences and the leadership they provide in these challenging times.”
The Council ended its statement praying for healing and recovery for the Prime Minister and for wisdom and discretion by the protesters.
“We pray for a spirit of contrition and reconciliation in the perpetrator. We pray that we will find mature ways to express and respond to grievances. We pray for collaboration, cooperation, camaraderie, and godly fear as we seek to build our nation together,” the statement said.