Liberia: ‘It’s Pointless Closing Churches and Mosques’ – Chief Imam Ali Krayee

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Imam Krayee believes that the religious centers could even organize their members better with strict adherence to social distancing and other health protocols compared to overcrowdedness and disorderliness seen in the markets. (Background photo courtesy: Massa Kanneh)

Monrovia – The Chief Imam for the Republic of Liberia, Shiek Ali Krayee has argued that it’s of no essence that churches and Mosques will remain closed when citizens who are being stopped from assembling for worship and prayers are being allowed to assemble in the markets for economic reasons.


Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]


He believes that the religious centers could even organize their members better with strict adherence to social distancing and other health protocols compared to overcrowdedness and disorderliness seen in the markets.

“The same people who you don’t want to assemble are assembly at market places and that’s the same thing. That is why we are beginning to feel that probably it’s not worth closing Mosque and churches,” Imam Krayee said in an exclusive interview with FrontPageAfrica.

According to him, while he has urged all Muslims to observe the holy month of Ramadan in the confines of their homes and abide by the government’s regulations and health protocols, he is also appealing to the government to reconsider its decision on prohibition of religious gatherings since “it is practically pointless”.

“We want the government to rethink; what is the point of closing Mosques and churches when market places are open? Are they not the same human beings that go the churches and the Mosque?” he asked rhetorically.

In early March, the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilehmina Jallah declared a nationwide health emergency in line with title 33, chapter 14 of the Public Health Law of Liberia.

The declaration outlined several stringent measures which include the closures of all schools both private and public including universities, computers schools and all other training institutions; all bars, casinos, video clubs, cinemas, betting centers, beaches both private and public ordered closed.

“The same people who you don’t want to assemble are assembly at market places and that’s the same thing. That is why we are beginning to feel that probably it’s not worth closing Mosque and churches.”

– Chief Imam Ali Krayee

Churches, Mosques, and other religious places of worshiped were also ordered closed. Large gathering to include sporting activities, parties of more than 10 persons are also ordered banned. Wedding and funerals are allowed but should not include more than 10 persons. Those attending such functions are to keep a distance of six feet apart.

President George weah last week renewed the stay home order by additional two weeks with some enhancements, including the compulsory wearing of facemasks by everyone in public.

The Executive Mansion stated that the government has determined that this is necessary in order to sustain the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

 Earlier this month. President Weah announced a State of Emergency to be observed throughout the country. During this period, the joint security command and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia were ordered to enforce the different measures that were pronounced.

Amongst these measures were ordered to quarantine the 15 counties; ensure everyone in Montserrado, Margibi, Nimba and Grand Kru stay at home for two weeks – with exceptions granted to designated essential persons and businesses; require all to be indoors by 3 pm and a directive to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to engage marketers in order to make “satisfactory arrangements” for the operations of markets during this period.

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