Liberia: Pres. Weah Urges Religious Leaders to Use Their Pulpit to Fight Exploitation of Religious and Political Diversities
MONROVIA – President George Manneh Weah has begged members of the Liberian clergy to use the “power of the pulpit” to prevent the exploitation of religious and political diversities among Liberians by those who have “selfish political motives”.
President Weah said members of the religious community should not sit supinely and allow division among citizens.
He maintained that members of the religious community in Liberia, including pastors, Imams and others should use the “power of the pulpit” for the common good of the country.
The Liberian Chief Executive made these comments at the celebration of the 199 years of Transformational Service and 15 years of Leadership of the Providence Baptist Church held at the church’s edifice on Ashmun Street in Monrovia on Sunday.
According to him, the religious community in Liberia has played a pivotal role in bringing about resolutions to some of the numerous crises in the country and as such, the church should continue to play that role because, it remains “the hope of the world”.
“Our religious community has always played a pivotal role in bringing about resolutions to some of these intractable crises. We urge you to continue to play that role. For it is often said that the church is the hope of the world. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus instructed us, saying: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.
“In Matthew 5:16, Jesus instructed us, saying: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Let me now call on the church to shine its light on the Liberian society. While we as Government play our part in the preservation of law and order, we expect the clergy to use the ‘Power of the Pulpit’ for the good of the country”.
At the same time, President Weah has urged the religious community to help ensure social cohesion and harmony in Liberia.
He stated that though government is playing its part to ensure law and order in Liberia, religious leaders also have a burden to ensure social cohesion and harmony among Liberians.
“It is often said that Liberia is all we have. I could not agree more. And that is why we depend on the religious community to bring about social cohesion and harmony. While our ethnic, religious or political diversity can serve to strengthen our democracy, some have attempted to exploit these divides for selfish political motives. The church cannot sit by supinely or become a wailing and complicit participant while these things happen”.
“Our religious community has always played a pivotal role in bringing about resolutions to some of these intractable crises. We urge you to continue to play that role. For it is often said that the church is the hope of the world. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus instructed us, saying: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.– President George Manneh Weah
Speaking further, President Weah recounted the numerous contributions the historic Providence Baptist Church has made towards the growth and development of the country.
According to him, the church remains the “embodiment” of Liberia’s history because its immense contributions are “remarkable”.
“The history of Liberia cannot be told without also recounting the numerous contributions of the country’s first church, The Providence Baptist Church. In fact, this church is an embodiment of the history of our great country”.
“Often referred to as the “Cornerstone of Liberia”, the Providence Baptist Church is the first place of worship that some of our ancestors who returned home after being freed from slavery built after arriving on Providence Island. This church has been so central to our national life that it even hosted our National Legislature for a period”.
President Weah, however, commended the church’s Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr, and the leadership for maintaining the Providence Baptist Church after many years of its existence.
He pointed out that government remains excited to partner with the church for the bicentennial celebration.
He vowed to also be a part of the planned activities of the celebration, especially a tour of historic sites in Liberia, including the Providence Island.
President Weah disclosed that the church planned celebration comes at a time his government is taking targeted steps to improve the enormous potential in the tourism sector.
“I am glad you plan to work with the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism in this regard. It has been nearly two centuries; that’s nearly 200 years of rich history. We anticipate a celebration that reflects the true essence of the Providence Baptist Church, and its role in Liberia. I share in that rich history, both personally and as President of Liberia. So be assured that I will be a central part of the programs intended to commemorate that historic occasion”.