5 April 2018 | Jamaica’s The Gleaner reported yesterday that the Adventist church in the country had released a statement supporting a declaration by Howard Mitchell, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ). Mitchell had stated that member organizations that denied employment to Sabbath-keepers would face punitive action.

Nigel Coke, spokesman for the Jamaica Union of Seventh-day Adventists made a statement to The Gleaner stating that the declaration was long awaited.

“We welcome wholeheartedly this move, which is long in coming, but very timely. Though some of our members are being affected now, and have been in the past, we believe it is time to deal with the issue in a very amicable way and move forward,” said Coke. “The opportunity exists to educate members of the PSOJ on the Jamaican constitution and what is required. We are willing to meet with members of the association to discuss some of the issues, so that it can be a win-win for everyone.”

The spokesperson also pushed for changes in Jamaican schools to accommodate Sabbath-keeping.

“We need to hear from the education sector, because many Sabbath-keeping students are now worried because their exams, which come up in a few weeks, are set during Sabbath hours, from sunset Friday evening to sunset Saturday evening,” Coke said.

On its website, the PSOJ calls itself a “national organisation of private sector associations, companies and individuals working together to promote a competitive and productive private sector.”

According to the Adventist denomination’s Office of Archives Statistics and Research, the Adventist Church in Jamaica has 304,021 members and 683 churches.

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