Prison Fellowship Week of Prayer and Transformation will be held from Sunday 18th -25th April 2010, a period in which the Church and local community will turn their thoughts to the men and women in Prison. During this week of Prayer Prison Fellowship Sierra Leone will be joining with local churches and community members to highlight the opportunities to help all those affected by crime- including prisoners, ex-prisoners, prisoners families, corrections and criminal justice officials, prison chaplains and victims of crime. This week is an opportunity for those in the community to reflect on their ability to seek justice and restoration for all. Prison Fellowship’s week of Prayer and Transformation involves National Prison Fellowship with member organizations in 116 countries. With more than 100,000 volunteers and 500 staff throughout the world, Prison Fellowship is the most extensive Prison Ministry Organization in the world. There are approximately 10 million prisoners throughout the world with over 2,200 in Sierra Leone of which about 60 are female and about 70 are foreign nationals. These men and women, out of the sight and mind of the community, are generally abandoned, forgotten, and yet the majority of them will eventually be released back into their communities ready or not.
According to recent statistics, 67 percent of these released prisoners will likely commit new crimes and return to prison within three years.
These people will one day be part of our community stated Rev. Mrs. Femi Anthony, “so the support and encouragement they receive from the community is crucial”. Prison Fellowship Week of Prayer and Transformation reminds the church and community of their role in helping prisoners to become productive members of society.
“We are pleased Sierra Leone will be part of this world-wide effort “said Mrs. Femi Anthony, National Co-ordinator, Prison Fellowship Sierra Leone. “Week of Prayer and transformation activities will run from 18th-25th April ending with a Sunday Worship Service at participating churches. Churches and organizations participating in the Week of Prayer and Transformation include: National Pentecostal Mission, The Anglican Diocese of Freetown, The Anglican Diocese of Bo, The Methodist Church of Sierra Leone, the Baptist Convention, The Assemblies of God. Also included are the West African Methodist Connexion, United Methodist Church, Bethel Temple, Christian Life Era, New Life Ministries, Bible Society of Sierra Leone Scripture Union, Mothers Union, Great Commission Movement, United Church Women and District Women’s Christian Association. In Sierra Leone, the Week of Prayer and Transformation will include radio and T.V. panel discussions, radio broadcasts, and seminars on “Ten Keys” in improving overcrowding in prisons and “Ten Keys” in re-entry and re-integration of ex-inmates.