planning it: National Diversity Minister Rodger Samuel, left, greets Rev Dean Albon Daniel of the Inter-Religious Organisation following yesterday’s news conference in Port of Spain. —Photo: ANISTO ALVES

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Citizens asked to pray out crime

Minister Samuel announces National Week of Prayer

By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

Citizens are being asked to join in prayer for a National Week of Prayer from tomorrow to February 1 to combat the country’s current crime situation, among other social issues.

Making the call yesterday was Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration Rodger Samuel.

Samuel explained the reason for the week of prayer that is being held in collaboration with the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) at the launch of the programme at his ministry’s Port of Spain office.

“For this week we are praying for different things—we are launching on Sunday (tomorrow) at the NAPA (National Academy for the Performing Arts) from 4 p.m. and the prayer focus will be on the crime situation, a reduction in crime, not just in murders but in crime across the board.

“What we are doing is asking all of Trinidad and Tobago to join with us, join with the ministry, join with the IRO. We are calling you from every corner of Trinidad and Tobago to join in prayer this week. The coming together at NAPA on Sunday is a one-off thing but we are asking churches and temples and mosques to open their doors so that people can go in and be part of the reflection and prayer. We are urging employers that when you get together with your staff that you too will join us in prayer. 

“We are asking the media that they will be a part of this thing and they will lead so that we can all be a part of this, bringing and saving and reconnecting this nation back to its creator. So I want to encourage all to be a part of this week of prayer that we can be a part of the solutions and not just be part of the problems,” he said.

Samuel explained there will be a different prayer focus on each day: on Monday the family—the bedrock of the society because strong family equals a strong nation; on Tuesday the environment—not just the physical environment but the social environment; on Wednesday the youth and children as part of the environment and the family; on Thursday the nation’s leaders, not just the politicians that lead but the leaders in the many different spheres.

“We are praying for righteous and positive leadership in the land. On Friday our prayer focus will be on spiritual renewal. Each and every individual has an innate connection with a supreme creator and we are asking people to find a time for reflection in finding ourselves again, finding a connection with God again. 

“The foundational principles of our nation says this nation has a connection with God so it is never too late for us to go back to God and on Saturday we are praying for harmony in diversity. We are a diverse society, now we are praying for the diversity to become more integrated,” he said.

Samuel said so far the response to the call for a national week of pray has been tremendous.

“People have been responding, together with the IRO people are responding positively and at the end of the day we will continue with the prayer because prayer is essential to any nation,” he pointed out. 

He said all religious denominations will be represented through the IRO.

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