A religious leader is defending the church against criticism that it is not speaking out or taking action on issues of national concern.
In fact, said Senior Pastor of Sanctuary Empowerment Bishop Dr Marlon Husbands on Tuesday, the church has been quietly collaborating with authorities to help find solutions to problems such as deviance among the youth.
He said that on that particular issue, the church has been working with state agencies, schools and community groups to help remedy the vexing issue.
“So when the Government has deviancy that they are finding problematic – and not only problematic but you are looking at the expansion of this deviancy amongst youth throughout Barbados – then the church comes alongside and facilitates with things like rehabilitation with counselling, with guidance and that kind of thing,” Bishop Husbands said during a press conference at Sanctuary Empowerment.
He added that the church had also been partnering with state authorities to find solutions to the recent spate of shooting deaths and violent crimes.
Bishop Husbands disclosed that individual churches have been conducting outreach programmes in their communities to guide young people to stay on the right side of the law.
However, he said, churches were not being acknowledged or recognised for their work across the country.
“The church has significant footmen, real footmen on the ground, people that work really hard in collaboration with social workers that are a part of those assemblies. We have social workers within our assembly who connect with us to outreach and reach out to young people. So there is that aspect of the service and work that the church is doing that persons are very unaware about,” he said.
Bishop Husbands was speaking at a press conference to launch Barbados Youthfest 2023, a one-week national event in which the church community will partner with various government ministries.
From June 25 to July 1, there will be a series of worship and educational activities aimed at ministering to the nation’s youth, explained lead organiser Dr Patrick Tannis. (AH)