Group cautions against banning devotion in Jamaican schools

Kingston, Jamaica – The Association of Christian Communicators and Media (ACCM) has called on the Education Ministry to refrain from restricting devotions in public schools.

The plea from the organisation follows an incident that occurred during general devotion at the Oberlin High School in the eastern parish of St Andrew on Wednesday.

The Education Ministry has been looking into the incident in which several students reportedly collapsed and started “speaking in tongues”, while others appeared to be overwhelmed with emotion after a female teacher prayed for them.

Education Minister Fayval Williams, has since announced that the ministry is working on protocols for devotions in schools.

In a statement on Friday, the ACCM said the protocols should not dismiss the role of the church.

“The Ministry of Education must take into account the fact that the public school system, for the most part, was established on moral and legal foundation, grounded in the Christian faith”.

“It is on this solid foundation that the majority of the traditional institutions of learning were built,” the group said, noting that Jamaica is now contending with a series of negative events.

The ACCM pointed to the “extraordinary high rates of crime and violence in the wider society is clearly spilling onto school compounds and the nation is becoming a dangerous place for all”.

“Jamaica has had the advantage of watching other countries dismantle the moral and Christian floorboards and observing the negative impacts on children and families”.

“The ACCM firmly asserts that the role of the Church as moral and spiritual guide, Godly presence and peacekeeper must not be dismantled, diminished or dismissed. Despite our penchant for violence and disorder, Jamaicans, at the heart, are a God-fearing and peace-loving people and the Church must be at the forefront of this battle for the soul of our country”, the group said.

It added that devotions are “our cultural identity shored up by our law. Let’s take pride in it, defend it, argue for it, and let other nations eventually envy us for it”.

The ACCM that was officially launched earlier this month, comprises professional communicators, who are Christians, working in the traditional secular, and religious media, social media, public and private agencies, and in the Judaeo-Christian Church.

The ACCM’s stated mission is to support and expand the gospel of Jesus Christ through various networks and engagements. (CMC)

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