The head of the opposition Liberia National Union or LINU, Nathaniel Blama, has described as unfortunate the Liberian Government’s recent public condemnation of the Liberia Council of Churches or LCC.
In a statement issued here Monday, Chairman Blama indicated that the government needed to be reminded about the role played by the LCC in efforts toward the restoration and maintenance of the peace and unity of the country.
According to him, there can be no monetary value for the work the churches of Liberia continue to do in keeping the peace and unity enjoyed by all Liberians. “The church continues to preach from its pulpits, messages of hope, peace and Love in a hopeless, insensitive and inconsiderate society like ours,” he noted.
LINU Chairman emphasized that corruption has become a major driver for increased poverty in Liberia, adding that the Educational system in Liberia is rated 440 among universities in Africa, while over 85% of the people of Liberia languish on the lonely island of poverty.
“It is unfortunate that this government does not know the history of Education in this country first initiated by the church – thanks to the help of the international community that we can now boast of more public schools; but before then, the church collectively again delivered more education to the people of Liberia then the government,” he noted, further indicating that the churches, over the years, provided health services and relief to the people of Liberia through health centers, clinics and hospitals before the government ever got there.
He said the churches normally set up these facilities to cater to their members and all within Liberian communities regardless of religion. For example, he noted, the ELWA Hospital – one hospital whose land the Government of Liberia attempted to illegally take, became the frontline for the fight against the deadly Ebola virus; how, then, can the government clam success on the Church’s frontline.
According to him, the government’s decision to emotionally react to the LCC in the manner it did was a sign of weakness on its part, saying, the Council is a major stakeholder in this country, stressing that for the government to elect to hit back at it only shows its intolerance, undemocratic posture and unwillingness to make changes to improve the lives of Liberians.
Information Minister Lewis Brown said the government became aware of an ecumenical letter from the Liberian Council of Churches under the signature of its President, the Rt. Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart, drawing its attention to issues of corruption, education, health and poverty that are inextricably linked, and with which the government was seriously concerned and endeavoring to comprehensively address.
Brown said the government viewed the Liberian Council of Churches as constructive partners in the ongoing process of transformation, and accordingly, entreated its positions with due respect and seriousness. However, Minister Brown noted that corruption remained Liberia’s public enemy number one.
By Ethel A. Tweh – Edited by George Barpeen