At the time Liberians are faced with tough economic challenges, President George Weah Sunday March 1, turned to the clergy here to use the “power of the pulpit” to quiet down the growing discontent among the general public, while his government focuses on the preservation of law and order.
“It is often said that Liberia is all we have, I could not agree more. And that is why we depend on the religious community to bring about social cohesion and harmony,” Mr Weah told worshippers at a special service at the Providence Baptist Church to mark the planning of the events to commemorate the bicentennial of the founding of the church.
He observed that while Liberia’s ethnic, religious or political diversity can serve to strengthen the country’s democracy, some have attempted to exploit these divides for selfish political motives. The church, he opined, “cannot sit by supinely or become a willing and complicit participant while these things happen”.
“Let me now call on the church to shine its light on the Liberian society. While we as Government play our part in the preservation of law and order, we expect the clergy to use the “Power of the Pulpit” for the good of the country,” Mr Weah added.
Liberia is a nation founded by freed American slaves based on what is widely believed here as Christian principles with followers of the Christian faith tending to trust what their pastors tell them more than what the government says.
Providence Baptist Church was founded on Providence Island in Monrovia in 1822 by its first pastor, Rev. Lot Carey. Providence was the first Christian church established and founded in Liberia and one of the oldest on the continent of Africa.
Referred to as the cornerstone of the nation, the Providence Baptist Church, on Broad Street, central Monrovia was where the nation declares its independence in 1847. The first batch of Legislators attended their first sessions in the historic building.
Thus Mr. Weah told worshippers that the history of Liberia cannot be told without also recounting the numerous contributions of the country’s first church, The Providence Baptist Church. He noted that the church is an embodiment of the history of “our great country”.
The president having recognized the rich history of Liberia bemoaned the fact that sometimes these histories are cited as the basis for the many upheavals Liberia has witnessed over the past several decades.
“Our religious community has always played a pivotal role in bringing about resolutions to some of these intractable crises. We urge you to continue to play that role. For it is often said that the church is the hope of the world,” Mr. Weah said as he quotes Matthew 5:16.
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus instructed us, saying: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”