As President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf faces intensifying Ebola and political crises, the Church of Liberia has ‘decreed’ that “war will kill anyone, who plans war” to “assassinate” the Liberian leader.
In what others fear could drag Liberia into another civil unrest under the Ebola crisis, persistent calls for President Sirleaf’s resignation, coupled with rumor of “interim government plot” have been reported, linking individuals here and abroad.
But speaking on Friday, October 10 at a national tarry attended by President Sirleaf, the Bishop of the Dominion Christian Fellowship International, Isaac Winker, recalled the church’s earlier decree pronounced during the civil war in Liberia that the late President Samuel K. Doe “should be the last President to die from assassination.”
Bishop Winker warned Liberians against a repeat of war here, adding, “The Church says no to war”, and swore on the pulpit that “anyone who plans war, war will kill you.”
During the seventh edition of the national tarry held at the Dominion Christian Fellowship in Congo Town over the weekend, the church prayed for President Sirleaf and the nation, asking God to take over Liberia’s “Ebola and political atmosphere.”
“I want you to know for your hearing and for your information, nothing could have saved former President Charles Taylor from being assassinated either by gun, or cutlass or knife; any calamity, nothing could have prevented it except the decree the church made to God,” said Bishop Winker.
He said what kept ex-president Taylor alive was the church’s proclamation to God after Doe’s assassination, that if any succeeding president does not serve God rightly, he or she should not die in office, but rather be removed by God.
“So anyone who wants to change that decree, you must be stronger than God to change it. It’s holding. Nothing will break it; we must have former presidents,” he said, adding that current leadership should seek advice from former leaders.
He, however, urged Liberians not to cease on crying to Almighty God for help “because that’s the only way we will secure” a permanent victory over problems facing the nation and individuals as well. He observed that of late, freedom of speech has been abused, reminding Liberians that “leaders, under the scripture, deserve respect.”
“We don’t have to like them, but the position is an honorable position; the office is an honorable office, and as such, we treat them with honor and dignity,” he urged, frowning against young people’s “disrespectful approaches” to leaders on talk-shows.
The clergyman said his comments were in no way backing or supporting any leader for their wrongdoings; but stressed that Liberians should talk about their leaders’ shortcomings with respect.
After thanking the church leaders for continuously asking for God’s blessings upon Liberia, President Sirleaf said Liberia faces a “serious situation with this [Ebola] disease,” but observed that “sometimes we play politics with it.”
She was however thankful that as she communicates with other leaders of the world, they see the seriousness of the disease and every measure is being taken to bring it to an end.
President Sirleaf joined the church leaders in encouraging every Liberian to continue praying and invoking God’s mercy; do what is right, and follow the rules and advice of health workers to kick Ebola out of Liberia and the world.
She said that a lot of support will come, assuring Liberians that, “whatever we do, we do it only for the good of this nation and my own tolerance and understanding.”