AFRICA/LIBERIA - A future of peace and prosperity for the country, also thanks to religious institutions

Wednesday, 14 March 2018


Monrovia (Agenzia Fides) - The recent political transition in Liberia, which took place peacefully, is the harbinger of a new period of prosperity, freedom and prosperity. With the election of the President of the Republic, former football champion George M. Weah, elected on 22 January 2018, the path started by former president Ellen Sirleaf (see Fides 2/3/2018) continues. The objective of President Sirleaf was to rebuild the infrastructures and civil institutions of the country and in the current state, it can be said that some progress has been made. This is how Fr. Firmin Kouassi, missionary of the Society of African Missions comments to Agenzia Fides: "One of the conquests attributed to the former Head of State is freedom of speech. Radio stations and new newspapers have been opened and currently share their opinions in the media and in other media such as the Internet, without fear of being threatened. Marches and demonstrations against the cost of living, the rate of the Liberian dollar against the US dollar, the Ebola crisis, the end of the UN program in the Country, were all themes taken to the streets without breaking the fragile peace".
According to the missionary, "the importance of the religious institutions and of the Catholic community in the process of promoting peace "has enormous importance". "The faithful - continues Fr. Kouassi - welcomed the invitation of the Church to fasting and prayers, the Episcopal Conference of Liberia, CABICOL, wrote pastoral letters spread in all the parishes to ask for a wise, calm and honest vote. Two years earlier, the proposal to make Liberia a Christian nation had encouraged many debates but was not supported by the Catholic leadership. The Council of Churches of Liberia opposed its implications for the security of the nation. The inter-religious Council of the Country, including the Muslim community, had warned public opinion about the risk of such a decision. This alert strategy was one of the characteristics of religious institutions from the beginning to the end of the electoral process. A great merit that must be recognized".
The transition period was characterized by rallies, meetings and demonstrations. There was no lack of hard comparisons and open discussions, but apart from some incidents in some counties, the overall situation remained peaceful. The main political parties, the Congress for Democratic Change, the Unity Party, the Freedom Party and the National Alternative Congress, showed respect for the election results. "The highest goal achieved was the recognition of the election results. In summary, - concludes Fr. Firmin - the peaceful political transition was reached through a long process, thanks to the commitment of civil society and religious institutions. It is right to mention the growing maturity of the political class, and to continue to hope and pray so that peace in Liberia, from now on, is preserved at all costs ". (FK/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 14/3/2018)