Christian Man ‘Kidnapped, Forcefully Initiatiated’ into Poro Society

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Tension in Saclepea as church Leaders threaten to bulldoze Pro grove to rescue member

The leadership of the United Liberia Inland Church in Saclepea, Nimba County is reportedly threatening to forcibly release one of its members, who has been kidnapped and initiated into the Poro Society in Kpaeikpoah Town, near Kanwee.

At a press conference held in Saclepea, Reverend Anthony Gondoun, head of Saclepea Christian Community, said the man, Joseph Saye, 45, was allegedly initiated into the Poro society in Kpaeikpoah on Saturday, August 11.

The news of the forceful initiation of this man is said to be brewing tension between the Christian community and the Poro society people in the Saclepea Region.

The United Liberia Inland Church, to which the member belongs, is one of the leading churches in the areas, something that is creating fear about the situation degenerating  into a full blown conflict.

The Christian Community is threatening to move on the area or the town of Kpaeikpoah on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, to have him forcibly taken out of the Poro grove, a potential development which many believe will lead to disaster.

According to a fellow church member, Elder Amos Saye (no relation to the victim), Joseph Saye, and his wife had returned from their farm at around 7:25 p.m., August 11, under heavy downpour of rain, when Mrs. Saye went in to make hot water for her husband to take bath. While the Joseph was waiting, according to the elder, a group of men rushed on Saye, kidnapped him and took him to the Poro grove. According to Elder Saye, An earlier attempt was made on Joseph Saye by the Poro society in 2016, but the man escaped to another town until the society rituals were over. This was the second attempt, Elder Saye narrated.

Many have been calling on the local radio for calm and appealing for the situation to be amicably resolved among the two groups.

Saye Lakpoh, a prominent citizen of Saclepea, recounted that a similar situation of such magnitude, which occurred in 2001, was bloody. And many have appealed to all sides to have the matter resolved peacefully.

As the Tuesday, August 14, 2018 ultimatum draws closer, the local leaders, including Representative Roger Domah, are appealing to the Christians to remain calm, until Wednesday, August 15, to bring the two parties together in Kanwee Town for discussion.

During the traditional chiefs and elders conference in Ganta months ago, Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf warned traditional chiefs and elders to stop forceful initiations of non members.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Can’t believe these people are still running around with this poro society madness. They need to snap out of it. You can’t be running round forcing people into your society. These societies (poro and bundo) have benefit us nothing. These are primitive lifestyles that we need to give up now. But if you choose to practice your society, please don’t bother other people who wants no part in it. Maybe the government needs to pass a law concern this. There are major economic problems roaming the nation that we need to be concerned about and finding solutions to resolve than to worry about poro society issue.

  2. Mr. Hney I agree with you 100% to release Mr. Saye from the Poro Grove immediately. There is no reason for his kidnapping. People cannot be forcibly initiated into any society group.

    Mr. Davoice, we don’t really know what happen between Mr. Saye and the Poro head masters/members that cause his kidnapping. I m sure from what I read from the Observer story, this is the second time that Mr. Say ruffle feathers with the Poro Society. Something wrong somewhere. There are hundred of thousands of men in Nimba County, why is it that only Mr. Say alone the Poro group signal out for the second time. The authority need to go down to the bottom and see what happened.
    The headline of this story, “Christian Man Kidnapped Forcefully, Initiated into Poro Grove”. Key words: “Christian Man”, should be examine carefully. Some of our Mosques and Church sermons are very provocative. We out rightly call other with dehumanizing, barbaric names if they don’t hold our belief. We feel anyone outside the perimeter of the three Abrahamic Monotheistic Faiths: Islam, Judaism and Christianity is not worthy of belief. Some religious sects go as far as evangelizing and making mockery at others groups beliefs and practice. I m not saying this the case in this situation. I have heard , ‘born again Christian’, calling other devil when I was growing up in Liberia. If one is a Muslim and believe in the teaching of Mohammed, and feels that he will go to ‘heaven’ by believing in the teaching of his prophet Mohammed, it is up to him. The same to a Christian who believe that the teaching of Jesus Christ will lend him to internal paradise, it is up to him. To all others, of different sects: the Republic of Liberia is not a Christian Seminary or a an Islamic Maderessa (Islamic Institution), that every one living within it territorial confinement should be a Muslim, or a Christian. Government collect tax from all sects, including Poro.

    Africa south of the Sahara is more religious, and the inhabitants pray than any other part of the world. However; we are the poorest and more backward. Let’s learn to be tolerance.

    • Mamadu Sulahman Bah, I know this is not laughing matter but I sometimes have a way of making comedy in my head about these things and I just can’t stop laughing. But you have stated something very important when you said

      “Africa south of the Sahara is more religious, and the inhabitants pray than any other part of the world. However; we are the poorest and more backward”

      I think this should be a major point of discussion among our people and we need to ask:

      Why is that?
      Is it because God don’t like us?
      Or could it be we are praying to the wrong God?

      It also reminds me of what the former president of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta said, “When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.”

      Now, just to be clear, the problem is not with the Bible itself. As we have come to learn now, the Bible has nothing to do with religion neither does it belong to the white people. It was only used as a medium or deceptive tool to enslave us physically, mentally, and spiritually. Just as Satan was able to use the scriptures to manipulate Eve and caused her to disobey God in the garden, same way the missionaries or white man has used and continue to use the Bible to deceive us up to this day.

      But again you have stated a good point that I believe should be open for discussion among the religious communities of the South Sahara.

  3. Thank you brother Davoice. I respect your point greatly. We learn from each Other comment everyday. I learn a lot from you brother.

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