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Prince William Jamaica.jpg
SIPA US/ Alamy
Prince William Jamaica.jpg
SIPA US/ Alamy
World News

Jamaica's bid for independence Biblically-backed, suggests Bishop

by Sophie Drew

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's tour of the Caribbean has been marred by protests calling for independence. 

The Prime Minister of Jamaica told the royal couple that the nation intends to become an "independent and prosperous country". 

The tour has already been re-routed following protests in Belize. 

Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, from the National Church Leadership Forum, says that the feelings of people in Jamaica can be related to the Bible: "We find from the very beginning of time, God giving each individual - and the people group to whom they belong - a sense of their own wellbeing and sense of agency.

"The Old Testament, when we find nations being governed by other nations or people being governed by other people, or empires taking over countries and lands, tended to be when they were under punishment.

"For example, when Judah was overrun by Babylon and so forth.

"To be ruled over by somebody else seemed to me - scripturally - to point to a negative situation.

"If we jump into the New Testament you find in Acts 17, something about how God has given all the nations their boundaries.

"So I think self-determination, self-rule is a cardinal principle of Scripture."

Bishop Joe has a vested interest in the issue, and supports those seeking independence. 

"I was born in Jamaica, so Jamaica is very close to my heart," he continued. 

"The Jamaica we know today was created out of the transatlantic slave trade and chattel slavery.

 "The indigenous people of Jamaica were pretty much killed off after Columbus stumbled upon the Island, which happened throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.

"The people most responsible for taking enslaved Africans - my ancestors - there were British, and before the British, the Spanish.

"Now, 500 years later, it's still that same empirical force - the power that took us there, ruled over us enslaved us, dehumanised us. For it to, somehow reconfigured, continue to be head of an independent states, like Jamaica, to me is an aberration."

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