August 04, 2015 Inter-American Division Staff
Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventists joined government officials in the Caribbean island of St. Kitts last month to march against the escalating crime wave in the Cayon Community.
More than 300 church members from nine Adventist congregations denounced crime by encouraging onlookers to have love for each other, put away guns, keep the Ten Commandments, and join together in the fight against violence. Other groups also took part in the march and rally that was organized by the Island Council.
Parliament Representative the Honorable Eugene Hamilton praised the Adventist Church on the island for its commitment to crime reduction and “to the saving of our misguided youngter’s lives,” reported the St. Kitts and Nevis News on www.sknis.info of the July 19, 2015, event.
“This gathering demonstrates that crime produces social solidarity…let us therefore embrace the ideas of all sectors, groups, organizations and people, recognizing that we all have something valuable to contribute to nation building,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton urged churches in the community to continue to work together against crime in the community of some 3,000 people in Cayon.
Acting commissioner of Police and other leaders spoke during the rally.
Sherwin AE White, island coordinator for the church in St. Kitts, said the Cayon Adventist Church took the lead in sending messages to their communities with pathfinders and master guides, drum core, and young and old.
“Participating in marches against crime becomes imperative because church members are a part of the communities that are challenged with social ills and vices that bring about negative effects,” said White.
For nearly four years the Adventist Church has sought to create community visibility demonstrating that “the church is the community for the community,” explained White. Programs targeting single fathers, drug awareness, end violence against women (Enditnow), and prayer walks in crime prone areas on the island have been ongoing, he added.
Church members across the island also get involved in community based activities on the third Sabbath of the second month of the quarter to provide breakfast to police officers and prison officers, and offer free medical screenings in the independence square, among other activities, added White.
“Involvement in community based activities has proven to be positive reinforcements that crime should not be an option,” White said.
The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis constitute one country and belongs to the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The Seventh-day Adventist Church there has more than 1,600 church members worshiping in 9 congregations. The church also operates a dental clinic, a primary school and a book and health food store in St. Kitts.