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Churches unite against gambling

Pastor Alfred Stewart speaking out.

NASSAU — A group of church leaders in The Bahamas met yesterday to kick off a campaign intended to persuade Bahamians to vote ‘no’ on the upcoming gambling referendum.

More than 20 church leaders gathered at New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Blue Hill Road South to show their support.

The conclave marked the official start of the campaign, said Bahamas Christian Council President Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson.

“The Christian Council felt it was necessary to pull leaders together for the purpose of beginning our campaign to deal with the referendum that’s forthcoming,” Patterson said.

“This is our starting point where we are going to unify the church to come together and begin the process of putting together our strategic plan going forward.”

That plan includes a comprehensive media campaign with television commercials and newspaper ads, Patterson said.

A commercial shown at the conclave had Patterson asking viewers to “vote no on referendum day”.

Patterson said he could not specify when the ads will start running.

Lyall Bethel, senior pastor of Grace Community Church and co-campaign director of Churches United Stance Against Gambling, said the conclave was also meant to be one of education.

Chairman of the Public Service Commission attorney Brian Moree QC, gave a detailed presentation of the laws on gambling.

“I think we’re about to engage in a national debate about a subject that is very important,” Moree told The Nassau Guardian.

“Any opportunity for me to make a contribution to that process is one that I will readily take.”

Moree made it clear that he was not there to take a position on the referendum. (Nassau Guardian)

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