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Church group grieves murder of young St Catherine pastor

Saturday, September 22, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches (JUGC) has condemned Thursday's murder of young pastor James Johnson and said it is grieving the "violation of the place of refuge" .

According to reports, 29 year-old Johnson, who resided in Union Estate, St Catherine, was teaching a class at the Church of God of Prophecy on Old Harbour Road about 5:00 pm when a lone gunman entered and shot him several times.

“As church, we hold dear the sanctity of life in regard to all. We are shocked and disturbed. We note with alarm the setting in which young minister Johnson was "cut down" brutally. We also grieve at the violation of the place of refuge and the incursion on boundaries protecting the sanctity of that space which has been dedicated for the "things of God" and for uplifting people overall,” the group said in a statement this morning.

JUGC said it is reaching out to support the family, church and community.

“We commiserate with his family and the church as we try to ponder the heinous nature of that act of violence. We set in context the pain and grief we share even as we consider how to deal with the very deep, intractable and diabolical force that is behind the overall situation of murders in our country.”

The group is calling upon anyone who has information that might be helpful in solving this crime to speak with the relevant authorities.

“We also call on all our citizens to reflect again on the crisis we face as a nation in relation to acts of violence and murders and to join in laments and warfare prayers and supporting other initiatives to disrupt the perpetration of violence,” it added.

Meanwhile, there has been heavy outpouring of grief on social media for Johnson who was reportedly the only son for his mother.

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