Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Liberia's Ambassador accredited to the United States of America (USA), Jeremiah Sulonteh, says the Liberian Government has taken no decision on Preposition 24 of the national constitution review process, which seeks to make Liberia a Christian country.
Preposition 24 was advanced by some members of the Christian community and it was adopted as one of several constitutional amendment proposals that evolved from the National Constitution Review Conference held last year in Gbarnga, Bong County. Ambassador Sulonteh said, for now the proposal remains a mere "debate." The Ambassador maintained the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration has taken no political action on whether to make Liberia a Christian country, or not. Speaking recently in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) Diaspora Political Consultative Conference, Ambassador Sulonteh insisted Christianizing Liberia now as suggested by some members of the Christian community, will make no political or economic difference in the lives of the people. Eighty five percent of Liberia's population accounts for Christians. The nation's declaration of independence was signed in the Providence Baptist Church in Monrovia in the 1800's. Since Liberia's independence in 1847, members of the Christian faith continue to enjoy preferential treatment in the celebration of public holidays and the dispensation of political power in the country. However, the Ambassador noted declaring Liberia a Christian country is not the way forward politically. He said "Over the years Liberian Christians and other religious groups have co-existed and they must continue to live in peace and harmony." Ambassador Sulonteh thanked and praised the ULAA National Leadership for organizing the Diaspora Political Consultative Conference. He also, thanked the participants for convening to discuss salient issues that affect the wellbeing of the diaspora Liberian community and their country. "It is time that ULAA and the diaspora Liberian community take leadership role in Liberia," the calm and soft spoken Ambassador pontificated. He then, underscored the cordial tie which subsists between the Liberian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Union. He commended the ULAA leadership for the support it gave the Embassy in the recent renewal of the Ebola Temporary Protective Status (TPS), granted by the US government. The US government through the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson extended the designations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for TPS for an additional six months on March 22, 2016. Although there have been significant improvements in the conditions in all three countries since their designations for TPS in November 2014, the US government noted that the lingering effects of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and continued recovery challenges support the six-month extension. He said the ULAA leadership and the Liberian Embassy wrote a letter to the US Department of Homeland Security requesting the renewal of the TPS. Also speaking at the gathering, ULAA National President, Wilmot Kunney, commended Ambassador Sulonteh for the cooperation and support the Liberian Embassy continues to give his administration in addressing issues that affect the lives of Liberians in the Americas. Mr. Kunney said the Diaspora Political Consultative Conference was meant to give opportunity to key political and national leaders in Liberia to deliberate the unfolding political situation in the country and the role of the Diaspora Liberian Community in the process as Liberia marches toward the 2017 general and presidential elections. The conference brought together a consortium of eminent Liberians, politicians, and heads of diaspora Liberian community organizations. Mr. Gayah Fahnbulleh, the US based Special Envoy to Vice President, Joseph Boakai, and the Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA), National President, Moses D. Sandy, were among some key speakers that delivered papers at the gathering. Mr. Sandy spoke on ALJA's vision for the Liberian Press and the role of the Diaspora Liberian community in the political process of Liberia.