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Editorial: The Paradox of Reconciliation

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Authorities at the Ministry of Education recently announced the suspension of the teaching of the Holy Bible in public schools across the country. The Ministry said the suspension will remain enforced following a review of the national curriculum.

Far before this action, the National Transit Authority barred public preaching on its fleet of buses plying various routes in Monrovia and other parts of the country. The bus preaching is being carried out by the Christ Revival Evangelistic Ministries or CREM based in Barnersville.

Its pastors and evangelists are however, being allowed onboard private buses daily to preach the word of God on peace and good neighborliness. Amidst these anti peace actions, the government is at the same time seeking national reconciliation following a very tense and somewhat disputed election that gave President Ellen Johnson a second term.

The suspension of Bible from public places, particularly in public schools is counterproductive to our professed desire to achieve national reconciliation, peace and unity. The reality is most if not all current officials of government, including President Sirleaf and the Minister of Education acquired solid Bible knowledge and other good Christian education during their school days which helped to mold them into the personalities they are today.

Now similar privilege is being denied hundreds of thousands of our young people in the public schools, yet we expect them to be discipline, obedience to authorities when the fundamental book that preaches love and other moral virtues has been taken out of the classroom.

How can we as a people preach reconciliation when Jesus Christ, the MAN, who reconciled the world with God through his sacrificial teachings as contained in the Holy Bible, is being suspended in their education… True reconciliation will continue to elude us as a nation unless our national leaders approach this very important step to nation building with the seriousness it deserves rather than playing politics.

We call on Education Minister Othello Gongar and his team of officials to reconsider the suspension of Biblical education in public schools. No matter what level review is being carried out on the national curriculum, the Bible is a fundamental embodiment of our national existence. National reconciliation should go beyond political accommodation as such steps are often cosmetic and deceptive. True reconciliation requires that we identify the root causes of our division and apply the word of God in uniting our people other than appeasing political parties or politicians.

If the ongoing national reconciliation process must become successful, we need to return to the drawing board to include those missing steps that are crucial to uniting us as one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for every citizen.

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