As the debate to turn Liberia into a Christian State intensifies here, Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee, who chairs the Senate Committee on Internal Affairs, Good Governance and Reconciliation, said the timing is wrong and unhealthy for the country, which has suffered many years of division, wars and hatred.
According to Senator Grupee, within a year or two, the United Nations Mission in Liberia will leave, placing the security of the state squarely in the hands of Liberians. He said majority of the population is composed of Christians and Muslims, and both religious groups continue to play crucial roles in the development and governance of the state so there is no need to declare one of them a state religion.
He said Liberia has ever experienced religious conflict before and that there is no need for exposing the country and its youthful population to religious violence.
“Liberia is already Christian State; 85 percent of the population is composed of Christians; besides, significant events of the followers of Christ are observed nationally though not legislated. Even majority national events, Christians dominate; why can’t things remain as they are than exposing our youths, who spent longer time in the battlefield and are traumatized as result of the war”, he cautioned.
Senator Grupee pointed out that Nimba County shares common border with Guinea, which is dominated by Muslims, and the county has over 35 percent Muslims.
However, despite his critical stance against the religious proposition, the Nimba County Senator says he supports proposition for the decentralization of governance in the country, adding that the decentralization of governance will help to reduce high practice of corruption, ghost names on government’s payroll and it will make the locals to actively participate in the governance process of the country.
Recently, delegates at the Constitutional Review Conference held in Gbarnga, Bong County on Thursday, April 2, overwhelmingly voted in favor of the controversial proposition 25, which calls for Liberia to be a Christian State.
Following hours of heated argument and protests, especially by delegates from the Muslim community, Christian participants unanimously voted for Liberia to be a Christian Nation.
Muslims at the conference had earlier contended that the proposition should be extracted from the list of propositions because it contravened democratic practice as it is aimed at according to them, targeting one group of people.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor