End the violence
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– religious bodies call for peace, unity, justice for those killed

RELIGIOUS bodies in Guyana are saddened by the recent murders which have rocked the nation with anguish, and have called on Guyanese to desist from acts of violence, hate or division, as law enforcement works to bring those responsible to justice.

The Assemblies of God Churches in Guyana are among several Christian denominations which reached out to their membership and the public with the hopes of quelling the tense situation.

“While still numb and angry with the shocking happenings, under the sun, in one of our pleasant, peaceful villages, over the last weekend, we take refuge in the fact that, above the sun, the voices of their blood cry out to God from the ground,” the Church stated.

“May God help our skilful crime sleuths in their investigations, resulting in convictions of those responsible for this heinous act. As a result of this tragedy, may we, as a nation find the courage to begin a serious conversation on healing the divisions here, with the view of building shalom communities across this land.”

Meanwhile, the Guyana Congregational Union took note of the hurt faced by the family of the deceased Joel and Isaiah Henry, Orlando Jonas, Haresh Singh and Prittipaul Hargobin as well as Mahendra Ramnarine and many others, who was beaten and injured.

“We appeal to those who are currently involved in, or contemplating, destructive actions, to desist from causing harm to others. The truck driver who sustained injuries to his face should not have been so harmed. These actions are not helpful. When we attack each other in this way we are similarly guilty as those who killed Joel, Isaiah, Orlando and Haresh, and injured Mahendra and the truck driver. Fellow Guyanese, let good sense prevail! Let peace prevail! Let love prevail,” the Union urged.

BE POSITIVE EXAMPLES

Similarly disturbed by the recent happenings is the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha. In a message, it called on political leaders to be positive examples for the country and to work to restore peace and calm.

“While freedom of speech must be respected and protected, racial slurs, hate speech and abusive and inciting statements on social media must be strongly condemned. We urge the owners of the various social media pages not to tolerate such comments and to report perpetrators to the Ethnic Relations Commission,” the Hindu Dharmic Sabha stated, adding:

“At this tense and volatile time in our beloved country, we must do everything possible to promote peace, respect and love among all. It is the responsibility of every Guyanese to work together to improve relations and prevent the reoccurrence of such devastating incidents.”

In its message to Guyanese, the Muslim Youth Organisation of Guyana condemned the murders of the teen cousins, Singh and Prettipaul Hargobin, beaten to death after he fired shots at protesters on Thursday. The organisation called on the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to “expeditiously” solve the matters.

DO NO INDULGE IN CRIMINALITY

It also advocated: “We further appeal to the protesters not to indulge in any form of criminality such as robbing or beating others. This only harms the noble cause in which you are involved. We commend the parents of these two young men for their strength and fortitude and pledge to stand with them to ensure justice is serve.”

More pleadings came from the Christian community through President of the Guyana Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, Pastor Exton Clarke, who said: “I join with the thousands to condemn this evil, and trust that the architects of such gruesome and inhumane acts will be brought to total justice. As a spiritual leader, I encourage us as a people to reject every manifestation of hatred, prejudice, intolerance, and the blatant disregard for human dignity wherever it raises its ugly head.”

Meanwhile, the Linden Faith Assembly of God Church expressed condolences, called on the Police Force to bring to justice the perpetrators and urged Guyana’s leaders to refrain from speech and actions that are divisive and unhelpful.

A similar call came from Praise Tabernacle Assembly of God Church which said: “We condemn these brutal murders. We must work together as one people, one nation, to ensure this never happens again.”

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