The Vice President for Planning and Institutional Development at the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary on the Roberts International Airport, the Rev. Dr. William R. Slocum has admonished the Liberian Legislature to critically scrutinize the two religious petitions presented by both the Christian and Muslim communities currently before that August Body to maintain the country’s lasting peace and stability being enjoyed by all Liberians now.
Rev. Dr. Slocum, in an interview with our correspondent, underscored that changing Liberia from a Secular nation to a Christian state as being vigorously championed by some Concerned Members of the Christian Community has the propensity to take the country to its past decades of unrest and senseless civil crisis that greatly affected every sector of the Liberian society. Even though he did not say how this would happen.
He urged the Concerned Members of the Christian Community to be mindful of the pros and cons associated with granting a religious status to a Country known as a secular state with dissimilar ethnicity, diverse religious practices, couple with the acceptance and orientation of traditional beliefs by both members of the Muslim and Christian communities since 1847.
According to the Renowned Baptist Preacher, considering the effects and implications of a theocratic state, especially as configured in the Liberian sense, where democratic tenants could be downplayed by the leadership of the state and decisions taken by a few religious groupings that may have oversight for the affairs of the state the campaign is unhealthy for the country and its people.
He emphasized the need for Liberians to work collectively to move the Transformation Development Agenda of the Country forward, adding that Christianity does not convert using force, but conviction and good example. He pointed out that all major activities of Christianity are observed in all parts of Liberia.
Dr. Slocum made particular references to Easter celebration, thus allowing the Legislature to go for break, and the celebration of December 25, that is generally believed to be the birth of Jesus Christ around the World.
He pleaded with the Legislature not to include the two petitions on its agenda, saying further that the body already has on its agenda critical issues ranging from the Code of Conduct, reformation of the Oil and Gas Sectors, proper oversight of governmental and private institutions, as well as other bills in committees rooms, among others.
Rev. Slocum noted that though everyone is cognizant of the fact that the vast population in Liberia is Christian, a Christian state petition was untimely, and detrimental to the peace and stability of the country.
The Executive of the Liberia Baptist Compact cautioned Liberians to put away their religious, political, social, tribal differences and work towards improving all sectors of the country through unity, pledging the Baptist Seminary’s fullest support and commitment to Liberia’s rebuilding and reconciliation processes especially in the area of human resource capacity development.
It can be recalled that in early February, 2012 some members of the Christian community began soliciting signatures in order to petition the legislature to turn the country into a Christian State.
This was followed by the presentation of a petition for the National Legislature to urgently call a referendum for a Christian State through the National Elections Commission (NEC). Following that petition, several believers of Islamic presented a counter statement to lawmakers opposing a Christian state status for Liberia.