Jamaica Observer:–  ORGANISERS and directors of Jesus in the City Jamaica and Optimist International Caribbean District have joined several organisations and individuals in condemning last week’s murder of 14-year-old Yetanya Francis in Trench Town, Kingston.

“These heinous crimes against our children must stop. The children are our future and if we ‘eradicate’ our future we will have nothing left,” said Bishop Bobby McIntosh, chief organiser of Jesus in the City and head of Maranatha Ministries International.

“Churches need to come together with one voice and one cry, believing in a miracle for our nation. Each one of us has been doing our little bit but we need to come together to [save our nation],” said the churchman.

McIntosh said Jesus in the City Jamaica, as part of efforts to bring the gospel to more people, will on October 27 be hosting a march which will see worshippers marching from Three Miles to Ocean Boulevard in downtown Kingston, and from Heroes Circle to Ocean Boulevard, culminating with praise and worship and messages from various speakers.

At the same time, Optimist International Caribbean District said it was shocked when it learnt of the rape, murder and burning of the body of the 14-year-old girl.

“We condemn this despicable act and call on the parents and family members of the young men who carried out the heinous acts to hand them over to the authorities,” said the organisation in a statement.

“We are of the view that in such a densely populated and close community, it is difficult for an outsider to carry out such acts and not be caught by the residents themselves. Therefore, we beg to suggest that the persons who raped, cut and burnt this young girl are known to the residents, but they have chosen not to identify them for one reason or another. In addition, we are convinced that the parents of the men who brutally assaulted and killed the teenager should take responsibility for the rape and murder, as they have shielded their sons who deserve their just rewards from the strong arm of the law,” said the statement.

“The Optimist International Caribbean District is particularly disturbed by this incident as our organisation this year launched an anti-bullying campaign aimed at helping to save the lives of our Caribbean children who are significantly impacted by bullying and empower them to stand up for their rights in a lawful manner,” said Governor Calvin A Hunter