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Country devil detains Pastors, members

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Detain them in Zoe bush in Bong County

By Lincoln G. Peters

A country devil is reported to have captured and detained some Pastors and their Church members in Gbartala, Bong County for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, resulting in a peaceful protest in Monrovia to demand the captives’ release from the traditional Zoe bush.

The secular West African nation Liberia has a dominant Christian population compared to other religions, but in some quarters of the country, traditional people are firm on deep traditional practices that do not welcome the Christian gospel to date.

Among those forcefully taken into the Zoe bush by the traditional folks include breastfeeding mothers and their children, and boys and girls, among others, for taking the good news of Jesus Christ to Gbartala.

Several members of the Saint Assembly Ministries International, whose Pastors and Church members were captured by the country devil, stormed the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Monrovia in a peaceful prayer gathering on Wednesday 6 October 2021.

The protesters called on the Minister of Internal Affairs who has oversight on traditional practices in the country, and other relevant authorities at the Ministry to immediately release the Pastors and the Church members who were forcefully taken into a Zoe bush for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The protesters lamented that their pastors along with their wives and several members were arrested Tuesday, 5 October by a country devil and traditional leaders and taken into a Zoe bush.

According to them, their clergies and Church members have been undergoing torture and inhumane treatment at the hands of the traditional people in the Zoe bush.

Noted for preaching righteousness, holiness, and living up to the dispensation of the past, Saint Assembly Ministries International has branches in several parts of the world, but its practices in Liberia have been marred by controversies over the years.

Located in several areas with its head Church on the Old Road, a suburb of Monrovia, Saint Assembly is noted for controversially urging its members not to brush their mouth or put on other goodly apparels because of a belief that these things are unsafe and unrighteous.

Speaking at the prayer gathering outside the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Residents Pastor of Monrovia, Alpha R. Tarway noted that their Senior Resident Pastor of the Saint Assembly Ministries International in Gbartala, Bong County, was arrested and forcefully taken into a Zoe bush for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

According to the Pastor, members and breastfeeding mothers along with their babies went to Bong County to purposely secure the release of those held by the country devil upon receiving the call in Monrovia for their Senior Pastor’s arrest.

But he said they did not succeed in releasing the Pastor because the police claimed that the issue is beyond their control.

Pastor Tarway explained that while they were discussing with the police, residents of Gbartala began threatening to attack them.

In reaction to the residents’ threat to attack the Church delegation, Pastor Tarway said they cautioned that such action is against the will of God and has negative consequences.

“After that, a lady came with a Sheriff with a writ of arrest for one of our Pastors and we went to the court. While at the court for the case and to sign a bond, the Zoe people came and everyone ran away including the police and the judge,” the pastor continued.

“And another group of our members was again forcibly arrested and taken into the Zoe bush by traditional leaders and country devil,” Pastor Tarway said further.

The clergyman narrated that the other members who managed to run away were taken in by a resident who promised to protect them till morning.

However, he disclosed that during the nighttime, the Zoes moved to the house and collected the other Church delegation, and took them into a Zoe bush where they were undergoing serious punishment.

Also speaking, a young Pastor of the Saint Assembly Ministries International, Abel Jeffrey explained that they have communicated with the Chief Zoe of Liberia, Zanzan Karwor, and other authorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs concerning the incident.

He said they have been assured by the authorities that their people will be released.

“We were given a mandate by God to preach the gospel to all nations so that people can be safe. What have we done wrong that our people are being mistreated? The police can’t do anything to help us,” he said.

Speaking in an interview with journalists at the prayer gathering, the Chief Zoe of Liberia Zanzan Karwor confirmed that it’s true that some people were arrested from the Christian community, but they are working on their release.

Chief Karwor said the situation calls for them to sit on a table and talk. 

“They have gathered here with prayers and we sent for their representative to come but they refuse to come to us, rather we should come to them. Now I’m here … for us to settle things, they are not ready,” Chief Karwor told the journalists. 

“What I can say now is if they feel that praying here can help them without us sitting on the table to talk, let them be here praying,” Chief Karwor noted.

According to him, Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf is not in the country.–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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