By Thomas Domah, Nimba county
Traditional masked dancers commonly known here as country devils have publicly apologized to the Liberia Inland Church in Sanniquellie, Nimba County for forcibly initiating a congregational member of the Church, 28-year-old Aaron Bahn.
An officer of the Liberia Fire and Rescue Service, Mr. Bahn was recently initiated while on detail at an immigration checkpoint on the outskirt of Sanniquellie City.
He had been in the custody of the country devils for the past one week but due to pressure from the Church, the traditional masked dancers returned him to the local congregation and openly apologized for the action.
Mr. Bahn is assigned at the Sanniquellie immigration checkpoint where he was arrested by the traditional devils and forcibly enrolled in a traditional school outside of Sanniquellie.
His arrest brings to four the number of congregants from the Liberia Inland Church, who had been forcibly apprehended and initiated by the traditional school in the county.
Meanwhile, executives of the Inland Church have threatened to take the traditional devil to court for continuously attacking its members and forcibly initiating them.
The Poro and Sande societies are two key traditional institutions in Liberia. They are trusted custodians of culture and have been here for centuries.
The Poro is a traditional institution meant for males, while the Sande is its female counterpart. These societies are traditionally believed to inculcate values and teach skills that are conducive to communal harmony and to prepare children for the rigor of adulthood. Editing by Jonathan Browne