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Lawmakers to hold Ebola prayer service

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Members of the Liberian Senate have proposed a day of fast and prayer against the Ebola Virus here to be observed and conducted by lawmakers of the 53rd Liberian Legislature.

Making the suggestion, which was overwhelmingly welcomed by the many senators in plenary, Margibi County Senior Senator, Madam Claric Alpha Jah, suggested that all senators and members of the House of Representatives should hold  day-long prayers on behalf of the country.

Though, the Senators did not conclude on the date for such fast and prayer, the President Pro-tempore of the Liberian Senate, Gbehnzohngar Milton Findley, indicated that members of the lower house should form part of the prayer service.

“I want to suggest that we seek the face of God. As national leaders if we can take the lead by using the annex of the Providence Baptist Church where the nation’s independence declaration was signed to be used by us as leaders to seek the Almighty God’s face,” he said.

Speaking in Senate’s plenary on Thursday; the Margibi County lawmaker said that it is time for Liberia, as a nation to return to the creator, especially in such a difficult time. But Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee, said that the church is corrupt and at such it’s not expedient for the nation to seek God’s face at a church.

Senator Grupee, who chairs the Nimba County Legislative Caucus, said if the prayer service should be held, funds generated from that service should be put into government coffers. “The church is corrupt and that the funds generated from the service should be sent to the government to fight Ebola,’ he said.

However, he was quickly halted by Sinoe County Senior Senator Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan, who termed the statement as ‘sweeping and misguided’. Sen. Nyenpan said that it is unfortunate for a national leader to categorize the church as being corrupt, which is unacceptable. It may be recalled that on August 6, 2014, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called for three days of fast and prayer to ask for divine intervention against the country’s deadliest-ever Ebola outbreak.

“I call on all Liberians to observe three days of national fast and prayer to seek God’s face to have mercy on us and forgive our sins and heal our land, Liberia, as we continue the fight against the deadly Ebola virus”, President Sirleaf said in a statement.

The death toll in the worst Ebola outbreak in history has climbed to at least 2,296 in West Africa, the World Health Organization announced Tuesday. The new figures are current through Saturday and showed a staggering spike of nearly 200 new deaths recorded in one day.

Liberia has been hardest hit by the virus: The Ebola-ravaged country is home to more than half of the epidemic’s deaths (1,224) and nearly half of all cases (2,046). On Monday, the WHO declared that cases are “increasing exponentially” in the country, where “the demands of the Ebola outbreak have completely outstripped the government’s and partners’ capacity to respond.”

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