Church group raise alarm over pastor's murder

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There has been an increase in the rate of deaths in Jamaica. Recently, a pastor was murdered in front of his family while driving near his home. This latest act adds to the over 1,400 deaths recorded this year alone in the country.

This has resulted in a group of churches speaking up against the dastardly act.. The deceased, Pastor Lynval “Marki” Lewis from the Spanish Town Tabernacle and Greater Portmore Tabernacle in the Saint Catherine parish, was shot multiple times by an unidentified gunman in the Southeastern part of Jamaica.

According to The Gleaner, the preacher was killed on Monday. Speaking on Lewis' death in a statement, the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches said, "Pastor Marki is another victim of the heinous nature of this ever-prevalent criminal activity, underscored by the fact that like so many other victims he was murdered in broad daylight in the presence of his closest relatives.”

The group described the preacher's death as disheartening, adding that he served God selflessly. The statement continued, “May God grant everlasting rest to his soul and consolation to his family and church community.

“However, despite the alarm and concern which we feel, we have firmly resolved to fervently continue to promote peace, human dignity, and the sanctity of life.

“In addition, may all Jamaicans of goodwill resolve to promote due regard for human dignity in all social spheres of engagement as a contribution to diminishing violence and abuse of persons."

In a report by InSight Crime, 1,301 persons were killed in Jamaica in 2020. The report's analysis by InSight Crime’s Kate Jones and Parker Asmann read, “The United Nations considers any homicide rate of 10 per 100,000 citizens or above to be an ‘epidemic'. 

“Jamaica’s total killings marked a marginal decline from 2019’s total of 1,339 murders and came as another welcome improvement over 2017’s sum of 1,647.”

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