Prime Minister David Thompson??(FP)??
The input of the religious community is "missing from the strategy for using this economic crisis as the occasion for a restructuring of society".
This view was expressed by Prime Minister David Thompson yesterday, as he addressed the 14th anniversary convention of Mount Zion’s Missions International Inc., at its temple in Rock Dundo, St. James.
Mr. Thompson pointed out that he had repeatedly "made the call for all stakeholders in the wholesome and sustainable development of Barbados to join Team Barbados and to pull together". However, he lamented that, to date, the response had not been as enthusiastic as he would have liked.
"Today, I therefore make a renewed appeal to faith-based organisations to come forward and help us to chart the way ahead. At one level, the facility for doing so is the new Constituency Councils, which have been established to empower communities," he noted.
The Prime Minister added that at another level, there was Team Barbados, where the highest representatives of stakeholder sectors and institutions met and collaborated in solving problems.
He also endorsed the "strident methods" which Mount Zion had used to draw attention to the "spiritual and moral decay that is taking place in this once God-fearing nation". He warned that in times of crisis, societies either disintegrated or pulled together.
"There is overwhelming evidence that, if left to chance, certain districts in Barbados will fall apart into warring factions that survive from criminal activity. You know these neighbourhoods well because they are the targets of your outreach work," Mr. Thompson observed.??????
He said, however, that he believed that Barbados could "ride out this temporary setback by digging into its reserves, drawing on its culture of resilience and, above all, by putting God first".
The Prime Minister commended Rev. Dr. Lucille Baird for dealing with a range of subjects which many of her counterparts were "afraid to touch". He also noted that she had tried to meet not only the spiritual, but also the social, economic and other human needs of her audiences.
"I congratulate you and the entire management and membership of Mount Zion Mission for putting Barbados on the map and showing once again what this little giant of a nation can do," Mr. Thompson said.