Concerned Citizens and Christian Lawyers Speak out against Dayton Avenue Church of God

RJR [Jamaica]
July 10, 2006

Members of at least five civic groups demonstrated Monday afternoon in front of the Dayton Avenue Church of God to express their disgust with its handling of recent allegations that one of its deacons watched while a 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by at least three teenagers.

Reports are that senior members of the church were aware of the allegations but did not report the matter to the police.

Church officials have also defended the deacon and questioned the handling of the allegations by the police and the media.

In the meantime, at least one Christian organization has reacted angrily to reports that a senior member of the church has criticised the persons who leaked the information to the police and the media.

The Lawyer's Christian Fellowship says it is deeply disturbed by the article that was published in Monday's newspapers.

The Christian lawyers say if the newspaper articles accurately reflect what took place at the Dayton Avenue Church of God on Sunday, this would be most distressing.

The Christian lawyers note that members of the religious community have a duty to expose and shun wrongdoing whenever it appears.

The group is calling for a full and impartial investigation into the allegations and urges the church community to assist the police in their probe.

The articles in Monday's newspapers report the founder of the Dayton Avenue Church of God, Ruby Kelly, as defending the action of the deacon and young men implicated in the alleged sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.

The reports said the young men accused of assaulting the teenager were likened to biblical heroes with questions being raised about the decision to arrest them.


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