By: Isaac W. Jackson, Jr.
The current patterns of ritualistic killings in Liberia are not scandalous for the government alone. It is also damning for the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC). The LCC is supposed to be carrying out its prophetic role of robustly denouncing injustice in society. No injustice is more devilish than the wanton killing of human beings for ritualistic purposes. Yet, in no serious manner, has the Council of Churches called out the government for the apparent lack of security, fear and violence being perpetrated against the weak, vulnerable and poor people in our country.
As a matter of fact, in addition to the ritualistic killings taking place up and down the country, poverty has also quadrupled across Liberia. Yet, still, the Council of Churches remains uncharacteristically mute, if not conspiratorially silent. The continuous silence of the Council of Churches, amidst all that has happened and continues to happen, is not only conspiratorial, but speaks to the acquiescence and collaboration of the Council with the power that be. Imagine, the mysterious deaths of four auditors; the death of Matthew Innis for threatening to spill the beans on the missing 16 billons; and the painful disappearance of three young boys while the alleged culprit still walks around Monrovia, free to do more!
It’s hard time that we boldly tell the Council of Churches that mouthing empty ecumenical and ecclesiastical rhetorics, while remaining silent about the suffering of the poor not only undermine the moral standing of the Council of Churches, but effectively besmirch the sainted memories of those who helped to establish the Council of Churches and those who stood firmly for its founding objective, including to stand and speak for the suffering community of poor people, and against societal ills.
Knowing the history of some of those who helped establish the Council of Churches, for example, Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis, I am not sure whether Archbishop Francis would have stood idly by, and witnessed the baptism and normalization of corruption and the wave of ritualistic killings in present-day Liberia.
You see, Archbishop Francis did not only demonstrate profound love for the poor, he inspired, associated with, and actively supported those who spoke truth to power on behalf of the poor. When human rights and political activists got in what John Lewis called “good trouble” with past governments, they found sanctuary at Bishop Francis’ residence. The question that glares upon us is that, can activists in today’s Liberia find safety at the homes of some of those handing the Council of Churches?
The answer to the question is a resounding no. Because, the evidence before us is suggestive of the fact that instead of standing for the weak, vulnerable and poor people in society, the Council of Churches in today’s Liberia is basically relishing the opportunity to arrange, organize and attend programs with an Executive drooling of corruption and stained by the blood of the innocents. This cozy relationship existing between the Council of Churches and the government accounts for the impairment of the Council’s functionalities, obligations and moral sway. And so, if any activist were to run to the Council of Churches for safety, such activist would be betrayed and sold to the government at the drop of a hat.
It’s a crying shame that the Council of Churches is letting our people down by woefully failing to put front and center the plight of girls and women who say they are afraid when night falls, and cannot go out alone at night as death looms across the country. Some of these religious leaders are clamoring around anointing political flunkies and popular rejects of the people. Shame on you for tainting the cross you display around your necks – the cross to which many have looked for redemption and salvation.
Instead of challenging the government on the truthfulness of its assertion, which is the foundational doctrine of separation of church and state, the Council of Churches wants us to wholly accept the spider story and unashamed lie told by the Police Chief that no ritualistic killing is taking place in Liberia. How can you ever claim to care for the souls of the flock when you show absolutely no care for the violent taking away of their lives – the lives of women and children?
As the conveyer of objective truths, the Holy Bible teaches that if the salt loses its savour, it is good for nothing; but to be cast out, and be trodden under foot of men. Aware that the current leadership of the Council of Churches is failing terribly, I suggest those in leadership resign or be booted out. As a country, we cannot continue to wallop in the paradox of having people occupying big positions, but failing to effectively carry out the job contents of those positions. As the biggest and most revered civil society organisation, the Council of Churches is supposed to be straightening its backbone and speaking truth to power on behalf of the weak, vulnerable and poor people in Liberia.
Wake up, or be damned!