Kenrick Hill, Pastor of the Pentecostal Tabernacle, United Pentecostal Church and St. Andrew South Eastern MP Julian Robinson
By Nakinskie Robinson
Members of the church community in Nannyville, St. Andrew are collaborating in an effort to help quell the flare up of violence in the area.
On Sunday, members from several churches gathered for a mass prayer meeting in the violence-stricken community to pray for peace and the residents of the community.
Kenrick Hill, Pastor of the Pentecostal Tabernacle, United Pentecostal Church, said while the assistance and work of the security forces are welcomed, divine intervention is also needed.
"Let us pull forces together for the true enemy. The true enemy is the devil and the only way to come against those forces is by other spiritual forces, by praying and asking God to reverse those curses, reverse that situation. So I am appealing to us all, let us follow peace with all men, and live peaceably for this community. Let's bring back the love in Nannyville. We have been having this peace for years now. So let's maintain the peace. Let's build back the love and unity," he urged.
Pastor Hill added that the church members will also be engaging one on one with residents, particularly young men and those involved in criminal activities.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for South East St. Andrew Julian Robinson said the gathering was necessary in a bid to restore order in the community.
He said several activities and projects have halted in light of the flare up of violence.
According to Mr. Robinson, it is imperative that order can be maintained in the community without the sustained presence of the police.
"I think it's important that the police maintain strong presence in the community, which they have. I think that has helped to maintain the peace. But we know that the police can't stay in here forever because there are other communities that are affected by violence and at some point, the police will have to move their resources elsewhere."
While he commended the police for their continued help in trying to maintain peace, Mr. Robinson remained adamant that the community must "develop a process where we can have peace without the police".
A 48-hour curfew was imposed in sections of Nannyville on February 4, in response to a spate of murders and brutality in the area.
Prior to that, the community was placed under curfew in January after two men were fatally shot in a gang conflict and a police officer seriously injured while a police team was responding to the incident.