Manning charges religious persecution

PM Patrick Manning yesterday in parliament

PM Patrick Manning yesterday in parliament

Religious Persecution
PRIME Minister Patrick Manning yesterday said a church being built at the Heights of Guanapo is above board, as he accused his detractors of “religious persecution” of him and the Full Gospel faith.

Manning charges religious persecution
Prime Minister Patrick Manning says born-again Christians must stop accepting the denigration of their faith by people who know none of their beliefs.

Beware The Spirit Lash
PM: Born-again Christians must rise up against persecution

Declaring it was ‘tantamount to religious persecution of the prime minister’, PM Patrick Manning yesterday lashed out against those who were critical of his relationship with the Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ Church and its leader, Juliana Pena.

Full Gospel pastor: We’re being prejudiced
It is the State which is committing acts of injustice and prejudice against the Full Gospel faith, two leading pastors declared yesterday.

‘Spiritual experience’ in Guanapo
In his statement to the Parliament yesterday on the controversial church being constructed at the Heights of Guanapo, Prime Minister Patrick Manning alluded that two journalists had a spiritual experience when they went on assignment at the church.

Journalists dismiss ‘spiritual experience’ talk
THE TWO journalists who Prime Minister Patrick Manning referred to as having had a ‘spiritual experience’ when they visited the church close to the one now under construction in the Heights of Guanapo, Arima, said they have no idea what he is talking about.

‘…No State funds used by pastor in travels’
No State funds are used in the travel of Juliana Pena, Prime Minister Patrick Manning stated yesterday.

‘Cabinet approval since 2005’
The Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ first obtained Cabinet approval in September 2005, Prime Minister Patrick Manning said yesterday in the Red House, Port of Spain. He was refuting allegations that the cornerstone was laid before Cabinet approved the grant of land.

PM spells out $$ for religious bodies

PM: No more freeness for religious bodies
There was a ‘virtual free-for-all’ in the granting of State lands to religious bodies, Prime Minister Patrick Manning stated yesterday.

PM’s statement a ‘con job’
Secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Satnarayan Maharaj has accused Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s of attempting to perform a “con job” on the population through a statement to the Parliament…

…It’s a smokescreen

Church cloaked in secrecy

…Too many unanswered questions says Kamla
She said in the case of the church at the Heights of Guanapo, there were several unanswered questions. She asked: “What is the role of the state sector in the project? What is the role of Shanghai (Construction Company) in this? Is there a role for Udecott (Urban Development Corporation of T&T)? Persad-Bissessar said Prime Minister Patrick Manning, who made a 53-minute statement on the issue Church/State relations, with particular respect to the controversial church, did not address the real concerns raised among the population. In response to other questions, Persad-Bissessar said the issue over new seating arrangements on the Opposition benches was not of critical importance to the people of T&T.

Kamla: Why the secrecy?

Mystery surrounds Prophetess Pena

Minister Gopee-Scoon does not know envoy named Pena

Belgroves deny link to Guanapo church

Work continues despite warnings
CONSTRUCTION at the controversial church at the Heights of Guanapo, Arima, continued apace yesterday, despite a warning by the relevant regional corporation that work would be stopped because appropriate approval had not been granted.

Extraordinary statement by PM

…’Friend’ pays squatter to move

21 Responses to “Manning charges religious persecution”


  • http://guardian.co.tt/news/general/2009/09/23/govt-pay-3m-radio-licence-delay

    Now the future course of action is quite clear to address this social malady Mr. PM . You should now encourage spiritual confidant Juliana Pena , through her lawyers to file a class action suite , on behalf of all Christians in the country .Have it come before Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh , and see if he would be just as sensitive, and understanding on maters of law , as it relates to racially divisive Trinidad and Tobago, where Sat and his Maha Saba radio bandwagon can use his radio station to empower , and or try and elevate his people , while denigrating everyone else that don’t share his gene pool , but Umbala would get his wings clipped legally for trying to do the same .
    Yes indeed ,the same Trinidad , where Hindu school children in Central could demand that colorful Puja flags are flown in their racially mixed school as a form of cultural pride and identity, but an SDA school is told that they must lower their spiritual moral standards to accommodate promiscuous youthful lifestyles of some socially repugnant groups , if they are to continue to obtain any form of governmental financial aid.
    Who the hell do these people think they are ? Time to get the Human Rights body at the UN involve in what can justifiably be described as cultural genocide. Is it a stretch to say that what is good for failed UNC backbencher Ramesh ,and similar loud mouth , pandering ,pseudo spiritual gooses, should be equally good for the timid , fair minded , and all inclusive, fast nationally inconsequential Christian ganders in my beloved country ? Few can disagree with this reasoning I assume, but I have been wrong before.
    And some are still surprise as to why this man and his party will win the next 50 elections in our country , unless God forbid ,a Cuban greedy doctor, gets paid off -as perhaps Abu Bker in 1990 was -to do the unthinkable on one of his many medical visits.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4OmkZICE5c

    Uncle Obama , are you prepared to offer any vote acquisition ,political lessons for ‘dem Trini ,Political life time second fiddle ,amateurs ?’ For all their wealth , so called intelligence , and lofty education, these petty elites are clueless as to how real world politics are played amongst psychologically depraved ,dependent , desperate , and neglected people.

  • I don’t know what to say about the PM’s statement in Parliament concerning the Church. What madness really going on in this place? The PM went into the history of all that previous govnts did, about rebuilding the temple in the sea, and etc etc etc. But as far as I am aware the temple in the sea was an open issue, it was not suddenly discovered that this is being done. And herein lies our problem in this place. The PM indicated that no one said anything about that project, but are up in arms about the church. Some people just don’t get it. But then again, like Panday’s monkey statement, the PMs raising this issues is well designed to again play on the emotions of the blind loyalists.

    The issue here is not about if the state should or should not assist church, temple, mosque etc. This in fact should be allauded. The issue is the manner in which it was done, and in this instance, something does not seem to be above board. The PM, began his statement by reffering to the constitution and quoted in part;

    Whereas the People of Trinidad and Tobago

    a. have affirmed that the Nation of Trinidad and Tobago is founded upon principles that
    acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in fundamental human rights and freedoms,
    the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions, the dignity of the
    human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the
    human family are endowed by their Creator;

    d. recognise that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon
    respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of law;

    but he seem to have no idea that between those two clauses there are two others;


    b. respect the principles of social justice and therefore believe that the operation of the
    economic system should result in the material resources of the community being so
    distributed as to subserve the common good, that there should be adequate means of
    livelihood for all, that labour should not be exploited or forced by economic necessity to
    operate in inhumane conditions by that there should be an opportunity for advancement
    on the basis of recongnition of merit, ability and integrity;

    c. have asserted their belief in a democratic society in which all persons may, to the
    extent of their capacity, play some part in the institutions of the national life and thus
    develop and maintain due respect for lawfully constituted authority;

    and yet another

    e. desire that their Constitution should enshrine the above mentioned principles and
    beliefs and make provision for ensuring the protection in Trinidad and Tobago of
    fundamental human rights and freedoms;

    These seem to elude the PM or he has decided to purposly leave them out because it would be in line with the modus operandi of the PNM, that is to simply ignore the plight of the citizens in terms of crime for example.

    But back to the church on the hill, nothing has been said on how this church is being funded, we know that it is state land, and I have no issue with that. Why is Shanghai being used on this (private) project. Wasn’t Shanghai brought here under a government to government arrangement, this puts to rest that the government has no input in this matter. What about the approvals for this project, the TPRC is blowing wind about a threat to shut down this project, we all know that that is just BULL, this was put out there and would be “fixed” by the state.

    I can’t wait for the next best thing to blog/blag about, for as per all others before it, this issue has but a short shelf life, and by the way, it seems as if the mortality rate of this and similar issues is increasing, or maybe it is that they come up so often that we eh even gettin time to shit in peace.

  • For he hath sown the wind
    When Leader of Opposition Business Jack Warner held up a picture of the mysterious church at Guanapo Heights, a week before, he sat down to let Mr Manning answer questions about it. Mr Manning chose not to, thus sowing the wind. The problem is not Mr Manning’s faith, but his attitude.

    PM’s dust in our face
    Why couldn’t the Prime Minister simply stand up in the House, say what he knew, confirming or denying allegations stated or implied, and refer the questioner to other likely sources? Avoiding direct answer, Mr Manning instead tried ridicule, characterising Mr Warner as a ‘monkey’.

    Church time today in Arima for Rev Apostle Juliana Pena
    JULIANA PENA, the woman being labelled as Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s spiritual adviser, has been conducting church services every Sunday at an Arima school for over a year.

  • No mmramps it is simply another straw grasping, futile exercise that’s perpetrated by your clueless , rudderless Opposition , and as usual, would guarantee absolutely nothing of substance , as far as necessary across the board ,majority votes ,or put food on the table of Trinis thousands of jobless, level the playing field in terms of justice for all, and most importantly, socially empower those that are historically weak,maligned , neglected , as well as voiceless.
    The PM could afford to be flippant, on this and most matters that affects the country,as like a hungry Erin hammer head shark ,he smells ‘political blood,’ from this weak divided cast, and is cognizant of the fact that his party leaders since 1956 has sold their souls to the competing tribes , and did everything short of full scale ,open cultural , and political massacres of their own , as a means of ensuring a stranglehold on power.
    It is often alleged by many of these agenda driven, naive , ‘borderline Feminist Nazis,’ that that women are more astute leaders . Hopefully there is some truism in such unproven fallacy , and Kamela can begin the much needed ,new process of charting a progressive ,socially inclusive partway to sustainable developmental politics, which might be beneficial for the 1.3 million or more citizens across this blessed , fortunate , and underachieving nation.
    Should she fail so to do , as I deeply suspect would be the case , then get used to business as usual , and the PM and his successor Hazel,continually shaking their symbolic “bottoms in your face,” for a long time to come.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJWT02HjgBM

    I tell you fellow ‘blogertarians,’ it is futile to ask some of these Trini comedians to change as a matter of expediency , as such is tantamount to requesting a ‘cannibal to change the menu.’ Hey ,wait a ‘cotton picking moment,’ I have been wrong before , and this might just be the situation, once more.
    Keep them honest my friends, and love country.
    Regards.

  • It is an attack on Christianity. It is a trend that is taking place in certain parts of the commonwealth Caribbean, and people of Christian faith must confront it in an unapolgetic manner. As soon as someone sniffs, there are loud claims that some other religion is being marginalized, and the cry is taken upy the very bloggers now being disdainful about Mannings claim.

    To hell with it, Christians need to mobilize across the caribbean to prevent the disruption of religious tolerance that has long been a unique feature of Caribbean existence. One cannot disassociate the fact of the belief system that is in the majority for this phenomenon. It is not replicated anywhere else in the world, where the majority belief is not non Christian.

  • Correction. “Where the majority belief is non Christian”

  • This is exactly the reason why the United States has a separation of Church and State. The government should abstain from all religion. Then there wouldn’t be all of this Mumbo. The government should not support or promote any religion. It seems the only way to be equal to all faiths is for the government to ignore them all.
    This is embarrassing and ridiculous. I wish that this would have been highlighted leading up to the Summit of the Americas. Then regional leaders would have been able to witness the loonies who are the leaders of this nation.
    As more is revealed about TNT politics, the sadder the situation becomes for Trinibagonians everywhere.

  • Listen fells this claim of religious persecution is nothing more than the division mechanism designed to reign in the diminishing support of this corrupt regime, election time is near, and this is but the start of the divide and rule syndrome.

  • My , my, it certainly took these comedians quite a long time to recognize that this charade was just a diversionary smoke screen , that has been used to perfection through the decades by tribalist on both side of the alleged divide.
    I wonder why they think Trinidad and Tobago along with Guyana ,are looked at so suspiciously by most global experts concerned about global Jihadist terrorism?

    http://www.heritage.org/research/homelandsecurity/bg2294.cfm

    It is simple, mmramps,both countries unfortunately have become interchangeable safe havens for criminal minded , ‘Islamofacist pro terrorist miscreants,’ that prefers to hide under the radar ,as they prey on the gullible , naive , and desperate, while practicing their phony, politically oriented brand of spiritualism?
    Irrespective of how this show plays out, one thing we can be certain of is that the Reverent Juliana Pena would not be leading the members of her mysterious Christian religious bandwagon any time soon from Guanapo Hights to Port of Spain, so as to indulge in shoot outs with Police in the House of Parliament ,and Police Headquarters, like was done in 1990 by Lennox Phillip aka Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, and the members of his Jamaat al Muslimeen.
    You and others are therefore free to raise your blood pressures, and political hopes up over this non issue ,as opposed to joining those few more concerned about getting to the heart of real injustice, national insecurity,broad based corruption , sub par leadership, as well as economic disparities , and social neglect in SweetT&T , aka Rainbow Country.

    http://www.billwarnerpi.com/2008/08/info-on-adnan-el-shukrijumah-and.html

    • Neal, Neal Neal, this is not about raising our blood pressure, and most definitely not a non-issue. But I have to admit, it would be a non-issue if it was the PM’s own money, but since it’s mine and every other citizen in this hear country, it cannot be a non-issue. It has nothing to do with the state granting land to religious bodies, but Neal this is not just that, it is more, the entire thing was done secretely, a Chinese firm, brought hear under Govn’t to Govn’t arrangement is being used to build it. Hey there are still to many unanswered question, that has been painted over with rubbish about religious persecution designed to play on the emotions of the blind loyalists.

    • Neal, what does your reminder of the 1990 attempted coup has to do with this issue? Please, I am not condemning you, but for my education please indicate the relation to the church issue.

  • It’s because ” history matters,” mramps. In 1970 a seed of disregard for law and order was planted when young , educated Sandhurst Coup School trained Lieutenants Shah and Rex Lassalle mutinied ,and so by this act ignored their oath of service and duty to protect the interest of this nation. You remembered how they were rewarded by the conniving British Privy Council,after millions were spent in a trial. The military remained in the dog house of suspicion across our nation until 1990. Coincidence?
    It was in 1990 that the seed of disregard for law and order blossomed , when 24 people were murdered , and damages to the tune of 150 million occurred across our nation via the uncivilized actions of Yasin Abu Bakr, and 114 of his Muslimeen followers.

    http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/forum/webbbs_config.pl/noframes/read/1180
    You remembered how that ended again,did you ? Presidential pardons, freedom, law suites, money wasted from Privy Council visits,and non retrials.
    The problem we have in our country mramps , is there exist a government that since 1956 ,continually bended over backwards to appease others under the guise that it stands for religious tolerance, and so call inclusiveness under our Constitution with people who are prepared to do harm to this country.
    You have a government that is quite aware that acts of blatant corruption, thievery , and other ghastly behaviors were perpetuated under their name for decades, but choose to remain silent as it translated to financial support , and political leverage votes.
    Again , if you cannot see a link between your country’s past atrocious actions , with what is happening today then you are more dense than I thought. If you are unable to see the complicit role of our life long Opposition party to some of the problems we are confronting now , then you are more of a fan than I was led to believe.
    You are free to drink in the anti Christian Gatorade that the Sat Marahaj led UNC is trying to muster up ,as that’s your rights. Do not however be surprise that some of us can see through the maze and understand what really is at stake- efforts to ensure that “every creed , and race finds and equal place.” Most importantly, social and economic justice for all citizens , across religions. Hopefully it also includes Protestant Christians ,of the smaller denominations.
    When you have some more time , I’ll give you more examples, both domestically , and internationally ,that would prove my statement true – namely, that “history matters.”

  • you have also proven to me that you are much brighter than I thaught and much more of a supporter than I was lead to believe. I wish I could get just one spec of the vash knowledge you have.

  • When the opposition in Trinidada and Tobago and the ruling regime in Guyana separate their cultural religious beliefs from their politics it will be fair to demand this of Christians. As it is, Christians are the only group who make any attempt to, as Neal asserts, “bend over backward” to be accomodating, and to avoid infusing religion into their politics.

    If the majority of the Caribbean population was of either of the two other major religious groups, you bet your ass that Christians would not enjoy the freedom and security these two enjoy in nthe Caribbean. Examine the world, the precedence is there for all to see. Christians need to wake up and say to hell with this kowtowing to the intolerant individuals and groups whose very nature is one of dominating those they consider inferior. Let us live out our majority, not by dominating anyone, but also not by trodding softly to accomodate their pathetic bigotry.

  • “bend over backwards” what madness is this? what bending over backwards are you talking about. This proves that we must separate religion and state. A government is there to govern over all, the church is there to govern over their sec. “Christians need to wake up” what madness is this? are they asleep? no I don’t think so, they are very awake.

  • They are asleep, and they need to wake up. It is always madness when blacks or Christians take stand. It is time to call it as I see it, and to hell with the deceitful bigots who live for the double standard.

  • Let me say from the onset that I am not supporting anyone on this thread who appears to agree with me. In my experience, many people who are anti-African claim to agree with any criticism of Africans, whether it is justified or not, just to satisfy their racist agendas. So when I am criticizing other Africans I am quite aware of how these criticisms could be (mis)interpreted and used by others who are not dealing with their own racism. Having said that, I cannot at all times remain silent and allow what I strongly feel is a distortion of reality simply to score points in defense of some political party that is African-based.

    There is no way I would defend Christians, including those so-called ‘born-again’ Christians, in Trinidad. In my experience, they have been among some of the most intolerant people I have met. They denounce African religious practices as evil and were just as vocal as some fundamentalist Brahminical Hindus in opposing the airing of African culture on the local airways.

    The claim of Christian persecution in Trinidad is a joke as most Africans are christianized in one form or the other and together with people of other races Christians make up the bulk of the population. They mostly share a similar negative mindset towards indigenous African culture.

    The European spread of Christianity was never kind to indigenous people and when indigenous people accept these imposed ‘religions’ they adopt a similar negative attitude towards their own culture and towards other indigenous cultures.

    Trying to annex Christians and Africans in the same boat as people who are under attack, especially in Trinidad and Tobago just cannot fly. Most of the people in government, the police service and the army profess to be Christians of one kind or another. I have no evidence of people planning or attempting to persecute Christians here. Who can do that here, especially since Christians are the majority and are very prominent in all the key services in the country?

  • Thanks Ruel for trying to assist in putting UNC closet spokesman ,global comedian ,and John Agitation’s cousin mramps and his twisted logic to rest ,right where they belong- the Beetham garbage dump.
    He keeps throwing around his childish acts of sarcasm , and naive commentaries about “separation of church and state,” like if he is talking to some of his occasional vacation drunken buddies from Barrackpore or Carapichima.
    Would someone please tell this joker that while he was still trying to learn the word politics, or his opportunist/desperate ‘lifetime PM in waiting,’ was a paltry ,second rate, Trade Unionist, deciding – like Guyanese dentist com politician Chedi Jeagan- if the Stalinist ideology was more palatable , or that of his elitist ‘neo cast/ pro colonial cousins, from alleged democratic Southern Asia, I was already delving into,and trying to understand ,the subtle intricacies of domestic and international politics.
    I wonder whose separation of state he finds most admirable , and or wish that we should emulate in Sweet T&T aka Rainbow Country? Is it the ones practiced in tribal pro Taliban Pakistan, Bin Ladin’s Whahabi Saudi Arabia, genocidal Israel ,Black Arab Islamist Sudan ,greedy , militaristic Nigeria, ‘so called Democratic India,’ or better yet much adored ,tolerant , inclusive big brother USA ,Queen Elizabeth led England,Protestant/ Catholic Ireland ,or pro Vatican Mafia dominated Italy?
    I will take this opportunity to put the full blame for this imbecilic malady at the feet of Dr. Eric Williams our one time Father of the Nation. Who can forget that he returned with his tail between his legs after his US Howard University lecturing , laying of white European oats forays , to come home and plant his political seeds by riding the backs of black Spiritual Baptist folks, in similar fashion that his contemporary ,political counterpart, and neo colonial pal Panday did all his life with poor Trini Indians .
    Mind you, using black spiritual folks as a ‘means to and end,’ might be a useful Machiavellian power snatching ploy for the doctor and no one can blame him for being astute. What however is most despicable is what resulted in the end for the PNM to hold such power.
    Yes mramps we remember , Kamal Mohammed ,and Errol Mahabir were allowed to build their corrupt fiefdoms so as to secure Trini Hindu and Muslim votes, and Johhy O’Hallaran , like many still do today in the selected quarters of Trini old monied French Creole business community was allowed to rob this country blindly , due to the financial support , social acceptance ,and blessings ,they offered initially to our one time caring political savior.
    Once more, I ask who does this fool mramps believe he is babbling to? Separation of Church and State, eh? Yea right! Call me mramps when any Canadian , Australian ,US, or European leader , is about to be sworn into office using the Hindu Bhavagad Gita , or Koran, or minority or indigenous tribal traditions given the respect it deserve in any of these blessed states.

  • PM sent to Privileges body

    …PM to face Privileges Committee
    Prime Minister Patrick Manning has been sent to the Privileges Committee for allegedly deliberately misleading the House during his statement last Friday, on the Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ Church in Guanapo Heights controversy.

    House Speaker sends PM to Privileges
    ONE WEEK after escaping being referred to the Privileges Committee for statements he made against Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar about purchasing a store, Prime Minister Patrick Manning was yesterday referred to the committee by Speaker Barry Sinanan. In doing so, Sinanan agreed with Persad-Bissessar that a prima facie case of breach of privilege had been made out against Manning for comments he made while delivering a statement in the House of Representatives last Friday about Church/State relations.

    Shades of Young and Restless
    Last Saturday, in this space, we described as “extraordinary” and a speech that “marked a watershed in the life of T&T’s Parliament,” the 53-minute statement by Prime Minister Patrick Manning outlining the local relationship between church and state, his own adoption of born-again Christian values and his defence of the right of the “prophetess” of a tiny congregation, who he acknowledged is his spiritual adviser, to build a huge $30 million place of worship in remote Heights of Guanapo.

    Why are Guanapo church leaders silent?
    By Lincoln Myers
    When Prime Minister Manning responded to Chaguanas West M.P. Jack Warner on the issue of the church being built in Guanapo Heights by Chinese workers who, as far as the public is aware, are here working on public projects being undertaken by the Government, I was stunned. It was unbelievable to me that Mr Manning would invoke religious persecution as an element in this already contentious matter, with his claque dutifully applauding and egging him on to gie dem talk, dey want talk, gie dem talk, so to speak.

    Here was the Prime Minister, a politician of long standing, using religious persecution, one of the most divisive and despicable forms of human behaviour known to inflame murderous passions, as pretext to avoid having to be transparent and accountable to the citizens of this country in what appears to be highly questionable government involvement in this private project.

  • Pena applied for land in Heights of Guanapo
    It was Rev Juliana Pena who applied to the Ministry of Agriculture for the land at the Heights of Guanapo on which a church is currently being constructed by Shanghai Construction.

  • Karen: No Ministry funds for ‘Lighthouse’


    Mystery continues to hang over the Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ Church in the Heights of Guanapo with Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Teshiera on Friday denying any relationship between the church’s construction and the Urban Development Company of T&T (UDeCOTT).

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