Christian community stands up against child abuse – Eye Witness News
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Two local Christian groups have joined in the outcry over the death of four-year-old Bella Walker, who died in hospital last Friday after an alleged assault.
The Bahamas Christian Council, led by Bishop Delton Fernander, and Bahamas Against Crime, led by Reverend CB Moss, yesterday issued separate statements mourning the death of four-year-old Bella Walker and unanimously denouncing the actions of violence against children.
The statement from the Bahamian Christian Council read: “This alleged act which is said to have been inflicted on this child is not only vicious but diabolical and we believe that the perpetrator once convicted should face the harshest punishment our courts impose.
âAs pastors who are equally fathers and mothers, we are heartbroken and devastated to learn of the alleged experience this precious little girl had to endure.
âThe Bible teaches that our Lord and Savior has a special place in his heart, especially for children. By extension, as a church we are also obligated to watch and care for the well-being of children not only within our congregation but also within the communities in which our churches are planted.
âThe Bahamian Christian Council continues to stand with all affected citizens and residents, government and law enforcement to call for stronger action and a stronger national initiative to ensure security. and the protection of our children.
âWe also need to join forces as a society to create stronger safety nets that ensure that the innocence and the lives of our children are protected.
âWe also believe that the time has come for us to return to a time when, as a community, we serve as surrogates and caretakers for the children of others if parents have to work or face an emergency.
âIn this vein, we also encourage members of communities who, if you feel and see signs of abuse, especially with children, to alert the authorities. “
However, Bahamas Against Crime, in its statement, claimed that cases of child abuse had been known in the community for decades, but were rarely implemented.
His statement read: âThis incident aroused much sadness, anger and indignation from the highest political, religious and social levels among ordinary residents on the streets.
“What is so unfortunate, if not tragic, is that this high level of concern for the abuse of our vulnerable children is only visible following a horrific incident like the one that happened to Bella Walker, even if it is common knowledge what has happened in this society for decades.
He added, âIn an effort to inform, educate and inspire the public to take action, Bahamas Against Crime (BAC) hosted a conference onâ Child Abuse, Exploitation and Trafficking âfrom November 3-8, 2019. …
âScheduled as an annual event, 2020 and 2021 have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the next conference is scheduled for early 2022.
“We hope that, as in 2019, government agencies, nonprofits and other civil society groups will partner with Bahamas Against Crime to aggressively tackle this very critical national issue.”