“Bring it to your pulpit. We cannot allow much of what is happening, particularly the abuse that is happening within families,” he said at the recent 13th annual National Gathering of Heal the Family, Heal the Nation in Kingston.
He also challenged the church to speak out against family members committing sexual abuse against minors.
Holness argued that much of these kinds of abuse result in the perpetuation of greater physical abuse such as beatings from parents, who are supposed to protect their children.
“If you see something like that, it is not right. It cannot be accepted practice in our culture. We must expose it and preach against it. If you see someone suffering quietly, reach out to them,” he encouraged.
The Prime Minister said the church’s capacity for counselling and outreach must be used to aid those affected by abuse, as this represents a “practical way we can start to address the issue of violence… which has become a part of our social transaction”.
Meanwhile, Holness hailed the chief organisers of the event, Bishop Dr. Delford Davis, and his wife,
In an address on behalf of the Governor-General, Custos of St Andrew, Dr Patricia Dunwell, acknowledged that strong families represent the foundation of a nation worthy of respect from its neighbours and people of the world.
The event was held in partnership with the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches under the theme, ‘Jamaica is God’s Place, So is my House’. It brought together members of a number of denominations to pray for the nation, families and Jamaica’s leadership.