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Georgetown, Guyana – (August 21, 2016) President David Granger, today, issued a call on the church to take the lead role in helping to address social ills such as suicide, interpersonal violence, poverty and drug and alcohol abuse, which plague communities. He also underscored the critical role of faith-based organisations in fostering social cohesion and national unity. The President was at the time speaking at the fifth anniversary of the Solomon’s Temple, located at Phillipi Village, Region Six, East Berbice-Corentyne.

The Head of State told the congregation that if the church has a greater influence in communities, gradually the negative aspects of the culture of the Corentyne will be transformed from a ruthless confrontational type society to one of peace and compassion.

“The church cannot close its eyes. It cannot be unaware of the causes and only act when the consequences become unbearable and painful… The Christian Church, as one of the oldest institutions, together with the Hindu and Islamic faiths, has a duty to act to help to eliminate the social problems that afflict the Region. The Church must attend to a person’s spiritual as well as material needs. The Church’s mission has a social character,” President Granger said.

President David Granger addressing the congregation at the Solomon’s Temple on the occasion of the organisation’s 5th anniversary

As it relates to social cohesion, he reminded that Christianity has only one doctrine, which does not separate the spiritual and from the social. The Head of State explained that a cohesive society is characterised by a sense of sympathy and solidarity and the Church must promote social cohesion by becoming a peacemaker and a bridge-builder; providing spiritual and physical relief to those in need and mending the emotional wounds caused by violence and protecting the vulnerable from malice and injustice and by advancing religious, ethnic and gender harmony.

“This Church, and any other church, mandir or masjid on the Corentyne, must reach out to its neighbours. The Church cannot separate itself from society, village cannot separate itself from village and citizens cannot separate themselves from each other. Faith cannot be divided into the personal and the public,” he said.

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A section of the gathering

Similar sentiments were expressed by Regional Chairman, Mr. David Armogan, who pointed out that the Government, Regional Administration and the police cannot deal with the myriad of social problems alone. He also called on parents to try their utmost to inculcate stronger moral values in their children at home.

The Solomon’s Temple was born 18 years ago as the Glory Light Tabernacle Deliverance Centre. During the early years of its existence, worship services were conducted in a ‘bottom-house’ setting at Phillipi Village until the construction of a church five years ago. Today, the church has a membership of about 400 people.

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