During a short visit to a monument in downtown Kingston, Jamaica, in memory of children who have been killed under violent circumstances, World Council of Churches' General Secretary the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has led prayers for the numerous young victims who have had their names recorded there since 2008.
The moving ceremony took place as the week-long International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) begins in the colourful Caribbean country - which has nevertheless seen much conflict, confrontation and killing over the years.
“Maybe if these children can be remembered daily, less will die in the future,” declared Maria Salesmen, a representative of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation and member of the board of the JCC.
A global churches delegation wrapped up a series of official pre-IPEC visits at the Supreme Court of Jamaica, where Chief Justice Zaila McCalla offered insights on just peace.
A dialogue about building peace and the judiciary system of Jamaica led the Rev Dr Walter Altmann, moderator of the WCC Central Committee, to make a comparison between the situation in his home country, Brazil, and Jamaica.
“When the judiciary system is too slow, there is a growing feeling of impunity in society,” he said.
Therefore, we must support all initiatives in which the judiciary system becomes faster without harming people’s rights and, thus, help to more effectively deter crime and corruption,” Altmann added.
The IEPC opens on Wednesday, 18 May and concludes on 25 May.
* IEPC resources page: www.protestantnews.eu/europe/8242
* An Ecumenical Call to Just Peace: www.overcomingviolence.org/en/resources-dov/wcc-resources/documents/decl...
* All Ekklesia's material on IEPC: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/ipec
Ekklesia will be running stories from journalist and regular contributor Stephen Brown in Jamaica, as well as official reports from the WCC and other commentary.