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Churches must keep their youth from falling to crime – Samuels

Published:Friday | January 3, 2020 | 12:54 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (WJC), wants pastors and church leaders to do more to retain their young people’s membership in order to keep the youth from falling into crime.

In a Gleaner interview, Samuels urged pastors and leaders of varying faiths to make their young people feel at home in their churches.

“A number of youngsters, who, unfortunately, get caught up in antisocial behaviour and acts of violence, are youngsters who were brought up in church, across the denominational lines.

“Sin knows no denominational boundary, and there are some youngsters who join the Church while coming out of abusive situations, but no matter how hard you try, the pull to go back to their social circles is a factor,” Samuels told The Gleaner.

The WJC president noted that there was an ongoing outreach drive, originally launched in 2017, to find 7,000 youth within the Seventh-day Adventist church who would be willing to mentor and be a positive influence to an additional 7,000 young people.

“We want to find 7,000 strong youngsters in the church who can mentor another 7,000 who may not be as strong because you first have to strengthen what you have. They may have friends outside the church who don’t have any Christian background or have that kind of moulding,” said Samuels.

In November, Samuels repeated a call he made in 2007 for unattached youths to receive mandatory military service in order to turn them away from crime and violence.