Jamaica will not see an increase in murders this year, says popular bishop
Hundreds turned out for the weekly fasting service at the old train station in the Spanish Town bus park last Wednesday to hear a prophetic declaration on crime, despite the strong presence of the security forces operating under the state of public emergency.
Presiding Bishop Rowan Edwards, who is also the convener of the annual 10,000 men and families march in Spanish Town, prophesied to the worshippers that even with the increase in murders since the start of the year, Jamaica will not see an increase in murders this year when compared to last year.
"I am prophesying that this year, you will not see 1,615 people murdered in Jamaica under my watch," said Edwards to the large, responsive congregation, who greeted the prophecy with shouts of 'Alleluia!'
"I am declaring that, by the power of God that works through me as a man of God, that the murder rate will substantially be reduced. You will see less than 1,000 murders this year or a little over 1,000."
Bishop Rowan Edwards, who has taken up the mantle of leading the Church's spiritual assault on crime and murders in Spanish Town, St Catherine, by introducing social interventions and evangelical outreach in violence-prone communities, has weighed in on the declaration of a public state of emergency in the Spanish Town North Police Division, stating that the churches welcomed the move.
"They should have locked down Spanish Town long time. This is a strong move by the prime minister; the churches welcome this. All the people in Spanish Town should welcome this also, because no way can we continue to live like this as people of this country," Edwards said last week.
"We cannot have a few young men driving fear in the entire population by murdering people, and, as a man of God, I declare that you will see a change in Spanish Town and across Jamaica this year," the outspoken bishop said, adding that God has given him the power to speak things into existence.
He said that families must pronounce blessings on their children, even if they appear to be turning to criminality.
"You got to be able to speak words over your own family, you must get some olive oil and keep it in your house to anoint them," Edwards told the worshippers.
Speaking with The Gleaner after the service, he called for infrastructural development to begin in Spanish Town after the state of emergency, singling out the Spanish Town Prison Oval as an area where the redevelopment should start. Edwards added that the prisoners should be relocated and the structure redeveloped as a tourist attraction to provide employment for the youth who are vulnerable.