KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness, says the Government will be investing in Jamaicans’ “heart-ware” as part of the fight against crime and violence in society.
He noted that approximately $40 billion had been spent on strengthening the country’s security architecture over the last four years, including acquiring vehicles, boosting communication systems, and recruiting and training members of the security forces. The next phase of the plan to secure Jamaica will involve developing the heart-ware.
Holness, who was addressing the annual ‘Heal the Family, Heal the Nation’ National Day of Prayer at the Power of Faith Ministries in the central parish of St. Catherine earlier this week, called on the support of the church as part of the process.
“Yes, we can make policies, but we need partners, and that is why I have decided to use this platform [because] the best partner in all of this is Jesus Christ and His institutions on earth, the church.
“We have a massive army of heart surgeons, right here in the church. You have the medicine, which is the bible and the gospel. I need you to reach beyond the walls of your Church and the numbers of your congregation to those men, especially those young boys, who believe that the only solution to the conflict is violence.”
The Prime Minister called on Jamaicans as they pray for the nation’s healing “to pray for peace in the hearts of men.”
He said that up to Tuesday, the country had recorded 13 murders since the start of the year, which is three times the corresponding period last year.
“We have to see violence as a disease that is infecting our people’s hearts, and we have to treat it with it,” he pointed out.
The National Day of Prayer was hosted by the Power of Faith Ministries International Inc. and the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches under the theme ‘We shall be victorious.’
Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, in remarks delivered by Custos of St. James and Co-Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Committee, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, said that the theme “is aptly selected since most of our victories are won on our knees.”
“Let us remember that prayer is our most important conversation with the Almighty.
“What better way to start the New Year than with the nation’s families coming together to seek divine guidance for a secured victory as we enter this new period in the state of our world today,” he said, adding that prayer should lead to renewed hope and commitment.