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Preaching on buses and freedom of speech

The recent announcement that preaching is banned on buses operated by the government-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), has sparked condemnation from some people whereas others are praising the move.

Some see the ban as a breach of their constitutional rights and are calling for it to be lifted.

However, passengers say they have a right to peace and quiet, and should not be subjected to people singing and preaching over their heads.

A Christian who attend church on a regular basis said there was no need for preachers to be disturbing passengers on the buses.

”The churches have crusades and street meetings regularly and, in addition to that, people from the churches go from door to door witnessing to people, so I don’t see the need for the big uproar because preaching is banned on the buses,” he said.

The man’s wife was not happy with his views and said she was surprised to hear him agreeing with the ban.

”How can you be talking like that? People should be free to preach anywhere because it is not anything bad they are doing. They are just preaching God’s word,” the wife remarked.

”There are rules and regulations that people must obey and it is not that the Government is banning people from preaching or witnessing to others, people are just being asked not to disturb the passengers,” the husband replied.

shouting and making noise

He went on further to point out to his wife that, at times, people are not feeling well or are going home from work, feeling very tired, and the last thing they want to hear is someone shouting and making noise on the buses.

”Then some of the preachers have the habit of going around begging money from the passengers after they have finished preaching. Sometimes I don’t think they are genuine Christians,” the husband added.

A bus driver last week said he was happy with the ban because some of the preachers don’t even understand what they are preaching about.

”Sometimes two or three preachers clash on the buses as they try to outdo one another,” the bus driver said.

”The preaching can be distracting to us, bus drivers, at times because sometimes the preachers and the passengers engage in arguments and, at times, get in near fist fights,” he added.

”There is a time and place for everything and I don’t think the buses should be the place for preaching, loud music or any form of noise or disturbance, ” the bus driver said.

The Charter of Rights enshrined in the Constitution of Jamaica guarantees freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religion.

A lawyer who was asked to comment on the issue said although the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, it also states that all persons are under a responsibility to uphold the rights of others. Therefore, it was his view that religion should not be forced on people travelling on a public passenger vehicle.

”There are persons who are planning to take the issue to court and it will be very interesting to see how the court rules on the recent ban of preachers on the JUTC buses,” the lawyer said.


  • DivaNista says:

    Dancehall skin out music feh ban too

  • Met says:

    ____________________________________________________ good morning

  • Quiet Storm says:

    Morning Met and Metters
    I do agree that any kind ah loud noise shud be banned from public transportation……but notice di article sey JUTC buses and I may be wrong, but I have never heard any radio/music being played on any of these buses (Can someone clear this up fi mi please…..Simply, where art thou?)

    Mi nah go goh eena di whole religion debate ting still, but yuh have nuff christian whey believe sey juss because dem preaching di werd ah God, dem fi shub it dung yuh chote an mek up dis hole heep ah naize an yuh fi juss accept it…….an mi tink sey dat is WRONG

  • Jules says:

    Music nuh play pon JUTC buses. I fully agree wid di ban, dere is a time and place fi everything. Street preaching different from bus preaching cause you nuh haffi lissen to street preacha, you can walk guh weh u a guh. Smaddy pon di bus fi di whole ride a blare out dem troat hole inna u eayze bout di same ting and almost everyday you haffi deal wid it dat becomes tiring and annoying. Ban dem rass, meck dem guh theology school and guh get church position if dem waan preach.

  • Quiet Storm says:

    @Jules…..I concur

  • Quiet Storm says:

    But if yuh voice yuh opinion, yuh hear how yuh ungodly etc etc. and dem mek it look like yuh ah di wuss smaddy pon earth

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