Debate Over Christianizing Liberia, Local Media Outlet Editorial Warns, “Liberians Are Playing With Fire”

map-liberiaIn its recent editorial, a local daily, The News Newspaper warned that the debate over the Christianization of Liberia has resurfaced again; but this time, it is facing enormous resistance from all quarters of the country, including the Christian and Muslim communities that have awakened to the reality that the controversial proposition could be chaotic if not handled properly.

The Proposition Was first approved last year after delegates attending the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) conference in Gbarnga, Bong County, accepted count 24 of the propositions, which calls for making Liberia a Christian nation. Debates have resonated across the country with members of the two religious organizations often engaged in verbal clashes that sometimes trigger inflammatory reactions, which is not necessary at this point in time, especially when our country is preparing for an important political process that has the potential to either solidify our young democracy or undermine the collective gains we’ve made since armed conflict ended in 2003.

Those Who Support the Christianization of Liberia remain resolute, while their opponents insist there could be consequences in the future if the proposition is approved.There has been no definite position taken on the proposition, and it is becoming even harder whether it is going to pass. But anytime this matter surfaces on our national platform, the fury and agitation of certain individuals and elements in our society become to lump. Some of the comments that have emerged from public discourses over making Liberia a Christian nation are simply ridiculous and anti-peace.

Last Week, The National Imam Council of Liberia rejected any attempt to Christianize Liberia. In a resolution at the end of its second annual assembly in Monrovia, Sheik Ali Krayee, Deputy Chief Imam for National Affairs, said the Council rejects in every forms and manner calls to declare Liberia a Christian state.

The Council Said “despite the fact that more than 95 percent of the institution of governance has been under the control of Christians from 1847 to this day… a hegemony that failed Liberia so miserably that the country could best be described as a de facto failed state in many respects; and in spite of the fact that Muslims have been deprived of most of their basic rights as citizens of Liberia during this period, though, as a community, they are the single largest taxpayers in the country, the National Imam Council of Liberia is amazed beyond words that some of our compatriots are calling for the declaration of Liberia as a Christian nation.” The group urged the government to also reject this proposition in the interest of national unity and peace.

It added that “if the proponents of this divisive project continue along this path with the blessing of the Liberian government, and the matter is sent to referendum, the National Imam Council of Liberia shall have no option but to call on all Muslims throughout the length and breadth of Liberia to stage a peaceful boycott of the entire referendum and the process leading to it.”

According To The Council, such an action would be the first step in a peaceful campaign of civil disobedience by Muslims in Liberia. They asserted that further measures would then be announced as the need may arise, adding “we pray that Liberia will never reach that point.” The path to democracy in 2017 is irreversible and those who subscribe to the irrational Christian proposition as a platform to score political points are themselves not true Christians. In the same direction, there are certain elements in our society with radical or extremist ideas waiting to turn this place into firestorm.

We Warn Liberians to desist from rhetorical violence, be well-mannered and law-abiding, even when we disagree; because if we are not law-abiding we would become disorderly and undermine the peace and stability that our international partners helped to restore more than 12 years ago.

For Us, We appreciate the peaceful relationship that have existed between and amongst our people characterized by mutual tolerance that has visibly seen Muslims, Christians, traditionalists as well as other groups co-existing.

Whilst We Don’t believe that Christianization of Liberia is the best option right now in addressing religious issues; similarly, we detest every form of rhetoric comments that would incite and/or undermine the security of the state and provoke an inferno that would be very difficult to quench.

We Urge Those calling for the Christianization of the country to suspend their crusade or halt the debate on the proposition because it could inflame the kind of fire never seen before in our country.

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About Cholo Brooks 17836 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.