The Prime Minister on Saturday told members of the Spiritual Baptist community to continue to keep their faith to overcome the covid19 pandemic.
He said it was because of the strength of their beliefs that they were able, even though in smaller numbers, to celebrate the legacy of their religion a year later.
"I think as a people if we look back at the celebration that we are participating in now, we could safely say that our prayers have been answered because if you had told us then, this is where we would be on that day, we would have said praise the Lord." These were his remarks to the faithful at the PNM's Spiritual/Shouter Baptist Liberation Day celebrations at the Government Campus, Port of Spain. The holiday will be observed on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister reminded how a year ago he asked religious leaders to pray for the nation in special service at the official residence in St Ann's.
"I don't know how much time you all spent on a personal reflective level looking back at where we would have been last year. One year ago Archbishop (Stephen) Julien was there, I had called all the leaders to come sit, stand sing come and pray at the Prime Minister's residence because our country was about to join the rest of the world to face a virus that has been declared a pandemic," he recalled.
"We had no idea where it would go or where it would take us or what our portion was but we had faith that if we genuinely believed that he lives we would face tomorrow, by April we were deep in it."
He said the country has endured unlike many other nations. He said although Baptists can not worship in thousands because of the pandemic " we do not give up the belief that we are a resilient people who with God's help will face tomorrow."
"So while the celebrations this year will not be one of large numbers and you a required not to congregate, and your are required to cover your mouths and noses it maybe, that is what makes 2021 Spiritual Baptist Liberation special as a celebration of survival. This faith has survived disrespect, this faith has survived disbelief , this faith has survived oppression, this faith has survived everything, so why are we surprised that with your leadership your guidance, your prayers and your participation in the national endeavour, can we not survive a pandemic, praise the Lord."