Pastor Paul Andrew is no longer invited to say prayers during the Cabinet sittings which normally occur every Wednesday at the Office of the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne has alleged that, “Whenever there is any political meeting or any march or any picket of the opposition, he’s there, literally marching against our government.”
“That particular pastor,” expressed Prime Minister Browne, “used to come to Cabinet to pray. And Based on his behavior, I asked the Cabinet secretary not to bring him back.”
Browne said he made his decision based on the view that, “the church has an obligation to pray for the government.”
While acknowledging the pastor’s right to freedom of expression under the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda, the prime minister maintained that this constant protestant action by Pastor Paul indicated, “a conflict between his faith and political beliefs.”
“And where you have that type of conflict, how do you reconcile that conflict?” asked Browne.
Pastor Andrew (or Pastor Paul as he is affectionately known) is the head of the St John’s Christian Assembly Ministries in Paynters Estate.
He has officiated at many United Progressive Party (UPP) events over the years to include commemoration services, their biennial conventions. He has also appeared in many of the rallies the party has held as a guest or featured speaker on numerous occasions.
“At one point,” alleged Prime Minster Browne, “he was on a UPP platform, prior to the last general elections, referring to members of my government as demons… as devils.”
“I don’t see how a person who is marching against my government and would have said things about my government that were not true… how this person could really say prayers in earnest.”
OBSERVER media reached out to Pastor Andrew who indicated that he would respond at a later time.