World Churches Hail Liberia’s Bicentennial Celebration -Send Messages to Liberia thru Council of Churches

A conglomeration of Christian organizations around the world has extended heartfelt congratulations to Liberia on the observation of its Bicentennial celebration.  Making the statement in a letter dated February 8, 2020 to Bishop Kortu K. Brown, President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), the National Council of Churches (NCC) of the USA Governing Board Chair and Presiding Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, expressed joy that the voices of Liberian churches formed part of this landmark anniversary.

“We rejoice that the voices of the Liberian churches are a part of this landmark anniversary! The nation of Liberia was founded by formerly enslaved Americans seeking to escape ongoing oppression as the vestiges of American slavery continued to impact their lives. By God’s grace, the vision of freedom in their own country came to fruition and has survived for 200 years!

“We join in this celebration with humble hearts and acknowledging that the church in the USA did not do enough to prevent the subjugation and discrimination of black people. In many instances, people of faith actively participated in this systematic enslavement and later marginalization of human life. We join with you in celebrating God’s vision of unity for the church and a respect for all human life, regardless of race, color, creed, nationality or religion. May God strengthen us all as we strive to be voices of hope and advocates for justice,” Bishop Snorton, who formed part of President Joe Biden’s Presidential Delegation to attend the Bicentennial Celebration, stated.

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) brings together 38 member communions and more than 35 million Christians in a common expression of God’s love and promise of unity.

For its part, the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) based in Nairobi, Kenya described the celebrations as a commemoration of black freedom, pan-African leadership and nationhood, themes for which pan-Africanists who have been at the formation of the AACC have fought for during years of independence in several countries in Africa.

“The AACC therefore joyfully joins the church, people and the country of Liberia in their bicentennial celebrations. The 140-member church umbrella platform for Africa celebrates and commends the unity of the church and the people of Liberia. The enthusiasm with which Liberians and people of Liberian descent, despite their religious, ethnic and political affiliations, are gearing up to celebrate is a speaking sign of growth, patriotism, hope, and love of their nation,” noted the AACC in a press statement.

Rick Santos, President and CEO of the Church World Service also commended Bishop Dr. Kortu Brown, President of the Liberia Council of Churches, and others.

Rick Santos said, on behalf of Church World Service, he extended his heartfelt congratulations to the people of Liberia as they celebrate this historic occasion, noting, “I am proud of the partnership that CWS had with the Liberia Council of Churches and the broader Liberian faith community during the Africa Initiative. In a spirit of partnership and solidarity, I send deepest wishes for prosperity and resilience for the next 200 years and beyond.”

Laurie Kraus Laurie Kraus, Director, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance/PCUSA also joined the celebration saying, “We join our voices with those of our National Council of Churches in giving thanks for this auspicious 200th anniversary of the founding of Liberia, and for the courage and vision of the ancestors who founded it, including so many formerly enslaved persons from the USA.

“As we continue to confront white supremacy and colonialism in all of its expressions, we are grateful for our partnership with you all; and for the opportunity to work together with you for the resilience, growth and well-being of the people of Liberia.”

Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus continued: “May this year of celebration be one of joy and renewal for all Liberians, and may the work of the LCC continue to thrive.”

For his part, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Africa Director, Rev. Dr. Yusuf Wushishi, extended “Congratulations” to the Liberia Council of Churches and the people of Liberia, “on the celebration of Liberia @ 200 with every prayer for a successful celebration”. Dr. Wushishi is the former General Secretary of the Council of Churches of Nigeria.

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