Politics — 06 August 2013 — by Adele Ramos

Amandala has been informed that 42 evangelical pastors—6 from each district plus Belmopan—met on Friday morning, August 2, at the George Price Center with Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow.

The meeting was coordinated by Richard Smith of My Refuge Christian Radio, who told the press: “We’re the conscience of this nation…”

Prime Minister Barrow told journalists, after the meeting, that “… it was altogether, as I said, a very, very satisfying experience.”

Asked whether the Revised Gender Policy 2013, which has faced strong opposition from the church, was a subject of their talks, Barrow said, no – the meeting was not about the gender policy.

He indicated that Pastor Scott Stirm had signaled to him, though, that they are fairly close to finished with the submissions on the Gender Policy, which are to be sent to him, Barrow.

So what was the meeting about, if not about the gender policy? According to the Prime Minister, the meeting was organized to see how the church community and the Government can improve their relationship. The Prime Minister was also briefed on the community-based initiatives being undertaken by the churches.

Barrow told the media that, “partnership between the government and church is critical in the interest of the country, in the service of the country but as well, on a personal note, the prayers that were offered for me and for my health really touched me…”

He told journalists that as an output of Friday’s meeting, “A smaller group will be formed so that they can have a constant channel of communication open.”

One of the pastors conveyed that the general theme in the meeting was “…where there is good- confidence relationship and partnership together, we get a lot done quickly.”

The Prime Minister has also said that the meeting was “an unprecedented occasion.”

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