NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas Christian Council has called for amended laws and stiffer penalties related to domestic violence in the wake of the murder of 21-year-old Heavenly Terveus over the weekend by her fiancé.
The deterioration of the moral fabric of our society is haunting us and creating hell on earth.
– Bahamas Christian Council
In a statement on the matter, the religious body extended condolences to the family of the young woman, who was killed while holding her one-month-old son.
“We are in a state of crisis and the only way we can make a change is if we all take a stand — not just to verbally express our dismay but to take definitive action that will result in meaningful change,” the BCC said.
“We must amend laws dealing with domestic violence and stiffen the penalties for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.
“We hereby appeal to all relevant stakeholders to join forces to do what is necessary to ensure that these and all other acts of violence and crimes are minimized and eliminated from our society.
“The BCC strongly encourages all churches to make this a core focus — to sound the alarm from the pulpits, to open your doors to those in need of counseling and to speak truth to power.”
Police said Terveus was found lying next to a man later identified as her fiancé, Fenron Delano Ferguson, who reportedly turned the gun on himself in an attempted suicide after shooting the young mother.
At last report, Ferguson was still in hospital in critical condition.
The tragedy has sent shockwaves throughout the country, once again pushing the issue of gender-based violence to a national discussion following several major incidents between November and Saturday.
The Christian Council said yesterday that the country has witnessed too many incidences of domestic violence that resulted in the tragic loss of life.
“We must be sensitive to the emotional and psychological needs of our citizens and remove any stigma that may prevent an individual from seeking help,” the council said.
“We have turned a blind eye to the social ills plaguing our country for too long and ‘the chicks have come home to roost’.
“The deterioration of the moral fabric of our society is haunting us and creating hell on earth.”
It added: “The BCC stands ready to lead the charge in reclaiming our nation and working in tandem with law enforcement to restore our country to law and order.”
The church exists for the fallen man. We are here to bring hope, to bring life, to show that person who is in the doldrums of life that there is something better for you.
– Bishop Denczil Rolle
Meanwhile, Bishop Denczil Rolle of Life Worship Center called for a more proactive approach to address these issues, charging that the country, on the whole, has always been reactionary to matters after they occur.
He said these issues are not necessarily more frequent but are now being brought to the forefront — something he attributed to the power of social media.
“Whenever the church is reacting to an event, we are too late,” Rolle said.
“We should never be the ones reacting. We should not be getting indicators… We should have been doing that and for the most part, that’s what we’ve been doing.”
Rolle said while the church remains prayerful for guidance and divine intervention, the church exists for these types of situations.
“The church exists for the fallen man. We are here to bring hope, to bring life, to show that person who is in the doldrums of life that there is something better for you,” he said.