Government’s Religious Summit which will come off this Friday, April 13, has received a nod of approval from the clergy, including President of the Barbados Evangelical Association, Dr. Nigel Taylor, who sits on the Ministry of Family’s Coordinating Committee.
??Dr. Taylor believes the hosting of this one-day forum is an indication that Government, its stakeholders and the religious community "are on the right track" and?? proffered the view that systems should be put in place to deal with any issues which might come out of it.
He noted that a document would be prepared for broad discussion after the summit, then refined and later submitted to the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth.????
Approximately 175 people are expected to participate in the high-level meeting which will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. Its theme is The Role and Responsibility of Religion in Barbados: An Examination of the Issues Confronting us as a Nation. Some of the topics to be discussed include Family Life and Education; Human Sexuality; Religion and Superstition; and Crime and its Impact on Society.
Admitting that there had been an increase in deviant behaviour by some segments of the population, Dr. Taylor stressed that the religious community was a part of society; and as such people’s spiritual and community lives could not be separated. "Hence, it was thought it was best to engage the religious community in order to facilitate the best practices, suggest areas where we can offer remedial aid, and put systems in place to assist our country," he explained.
He said the church had "taken a slap in recent times", with some persons expressing the view that it was not serving this present age. "I think the church is doing well, I think it can do better because all agencies can do better. By itself, it can’t do it; with government and fellow church colleagues it can do it. The church may not have been doing as well as we want it to, but at the same time it has not been floundering, it has not been slothful," he declared.????????
Friday’s conference will cater to all religious organisations in Barbados, and Dr. Taylor pointed out that where they differed on doctrines, they were united on social issues.