Anti-violence NGOs designate October as month of prayer

October has been designated a month of prayer by The Caribbean Voice and other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) behind the recently launched ‘Voices Against Violence’ cohesion initiative.

According to a press release from The Caribbean Voice, the successful staging of over 300 candlelight vigils countrywide, aimed at doubling collaborative efforts and fostering togetherness to tackle violence in all its forms, led to a decision to organize monthly activities under the ‘Voice against Violence’ theme. Against this background, October has been earmarked a month of prayer with October 30 designated as the National Day of Prayer.

The release said that the organisations spearheading this month of prayer request that all Guyanese households pray for peace and non-violence throughout the month and to also participate in any and all gatherings where prayers are held.

It stated too that Guyanese are also requested to organise prayer sessions nationwide on October 30 at mandirs, mosques, churches, satsangs, prayer meetings and any sort of gathering where prayers can “take centre stage.”

The release pointed out that praying collectively as communities and groups is the focus of the National Day of Prayer.

According to The Caribbean Voice, prayer was chosen because research participants who said a prayer prior to mentally exhausting tasks were better able to exercise self-control following that task. Additionally, the release said studies demonstrate that prayer reduces alcohol consumption, which may reflect the exercise of self-control. Researchers have also found that having people pray for those in need reduced the amount of aggression they expressed following anger inducing experiences. “In other words, prayers helps you not to lose your cool,” the release said.

It was also pointed out that prayer results in increased feelings of unity and trust and is an important factor in living longer and staying healthy.

“In effect science tells that the positive effects of prayers on physical and mental wellbeing can and do shape personalities and behaviour that lead to less acts of violence both at the individual and societal levels,” it stressed.

Meanwhile, the release informed that a region-wide candlelight vigil, held at Anna Catherina on September 16, rounded off the ‘Voices against Violence’ national candlelight vigil held to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, which was observed on September 10 this year.

The vigil, which was organised by the Anna Catherina Islamic Complex in collaboration with ‘The Caribbean Voice,’ was the last of the countrywide vigils organised by almost 40 different NGOs and other interest groups. It was publicly endorsed by the Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan and supported by a number of businesses, local government bodies and political groups. The Anna Catherina vigil was addressed by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.

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