MONROVIA – The Church Pastor of New Water in the Desert Assembly in Brewerville, Bishop Kortu K. Brown has called on people in the Liberian society especially politicians to stop generalizing the ineffectiveness of the religious community in addressing societal issues. He urged political actors to specifically address their concerns to segments of the religious community they have problem with and not put everyone in a “condemnation basket” as a way of calling attention to the role of the religious community and/or seeking popularity for themselves. “We are fully cognizance of our roles as religious leaders and we are not shrinking from it”, adding, “the conscience of the nation cannot, and will not, be silenced”
The outspoken Pentecostal cleric was speaking to a group of young people on the campus of New Water in the Desert Apostolic Pentecostal Church over the weekend in reaction to reports from some quarters that the religious community has been compromised and it’s no longer serving as the Conscience of the nation. “Compromised by whom? For what?” he quipped, adding “The Bible says a bribe blinds the eye according to Exodus 23:8. So the question is, who is bribing? Who are they bribing? And why are they bribing? From what is the eye expected to be blinded?”
The immediate past president of the Liberia Council of Churches wondered why people are not crediting the religious community for standing up to the public health law before the Senate, especially the portion on abortion which seeks to legalize the killing of unborn children throughout the pregnancy. “That bill was almost passed. It is the religious community that has stood up to lead a strong protest against the inclusion of the whole Comprehensive sex education component in the revised public health law including urging people to go online and express their opposition through a <www.StopLiberiaAbortionBill.Com> petition to their senators. Interestingly some of the very people who make the loudest noise in Monrovia about the silence of the religious community were the ones pushing the uncultured, unreligious and unprincipled abortion component of the draft revised law. Infact that is a bill that the religious community wasn’t fully and timely consulted on given its religious, cultural and societal ramifications”, he added
Scapegoating the religious community
The tough-talking religious leader reminded Liberians that some people always like to use the religious community to do their bidding and when it doesn’t go their way then they scapegoat and falsely accused religious leaders of taking bribes, etc. “See some of the people in the Opposition community today. Just a while ago they were in the ruling establishment and insulting religious leaders for6HIOOP speaking out against the ills of society and they were being criticized by people in the opposition. Now that they are on the opposition side, that’s okay, their sins have been washed away. That is hypocrisy! And that’s why the country is not being transformed even though we are changing leaders; unfortunately, we are not changing attitudes, we are not standing by standards, we are not building genuine alliances, we are not engaging stakeholders, etc.”, adding “we are too consumed with the politics of my supporters and my enemies”
What have we not said?
In the past few years, the Apostolic Pentecostal cleric wondered about what has been missing in the public redress by the religious community of the murmurings of the Liberian people. “We have spoken out against corruption, ritualistic killings, poor governance, lack of proper institutional coordination, the unimpressive performance of the Legislature, the disunity amongst political parties, our failure to pursue reconciliation as a national goal; the threat posed by lawmakers to not reflect the democratic configuration of the country growing out of every election results in their performance and decision-making on Capitol building. How are the major political parties positions reflected in many of the laws being passed at the Liberian Legislature? How much consultation is put into such efforts by lawmakers with their political parties, other political parties, constituencies, stakeholders, etc. so that a sense of the ‘wholesome functioning society’ that President Tolbert spoke about, is not only idealized but consolidated? “We stood up to the reports of ritualistic killings in our society to the annoyance of many even in the ruling establishments about 2 years ago.
“We mobilized the country against the passage of the national referendum to effect changes in the tenures of elected officials of Government during the special senatorial election of December 2020 because we felt the country wasn’t adequately prepared for the process including the lack of proper public education, etc. Where were our accusers?” he asked
Bishop Brown reminded all Liberians that the transformation of the country must be the collective resolve of all Liberians adding “winning elections is easier than governing a State as President Sirleaf and/or President Weah will tell you. So we all have a responsibility to galvanize the people of this country to lead a well-defined and inclusive transformative agenda for our country. No one group can do it. We must fight the vices that challenge us and slow us down daily. That’s not the work of any one political party or group however smart or popular they maybe. All Liberians, and I mean, all Liberians, must be mobilized and galvanized to join the campaign for a renewed Liberia” adding, “it’s time to begin to build such unity or cooperation amidst our diversities, and notwithstanding our political affiliations. Scapegoating or marginalization will take the country nowhere”, he concluded.