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By Steve Thomas

Observer Nevis Editor

(Conaree, St. Kitts) – The leader of the People’s Action Movement is calling on church leaders to lend their voices to support efforts to fight crime in the Federation of St. Kitts – Nevis, which has recorded 11 murders in 2008 and a string of other violent crimes.

PAM chief Mr. Lindsay Grant spoke at the 40th anniversary of the Wesleyan Holiness Church on June 25.

“At this moment in our nation’s history, we must embrace such a beacon of light to help guide our youth. All around us, the surging crime rate in our Federation-particularly the escalating violence among our youth- call our churches to action and call our leaders to action. Our families can no longer be asked to endure and our youth cannot continue to suffer harm,” Mr. Grant said.

Mr. Grant extended warm appreciation to Reverend Sonia Herbert and the congregation at Conaree Village, plus guests including the Governor General, H.E. Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, Deputy PM the Hon. Sam Condor and Minister of Agriculture the Hon. Cedric Liburd.

Mr. Grant applauded the work done by ‘Instruments of Peace’, a well-known youth group, which was formed two years ago to help keep children off the streets.

He noted that the group has 17 girls to only five boys, meaning that outreach efforts to young males were a continuing challenge.

“Conaree Village is made distinctive by the vibrant participation of young people in the congregation at Wesleyan Holiness. As a 40 year-old fixture in Conaree Village, the Wesleyan Holiness Church has served as a beacon of light to help guide our youth in the community,” he said.

“It is my sincerest hope that as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary we also recognize that our young people in the Federation – some of whom are from this very Conaree Village community- now have to be buried almost as fast as they have been Christened at the Wesleyan Holiness Church,” he said. “As we look then toward the 50th and even forward to a 70th Anniversary, I admonish the Church to no longer remain silent. The tide of serious challenges we now face means that the Church must become vigilant and join the vanguard against the ills we have recently witnessed in our society.”

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