The bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Liberia and archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa, Most Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart, has warned politicians seeking public office to avoid shedding innocent blood in ritualistic killings as they contest the ensuing senatorial elections.
Making emphasis on the issue among other societal ills while delivering a sermon at the National Intercessory Prayer at Trinity Cathedral yesterday, Archbishop Hart said, “We still practice the killing of innocent people either for ritual practices or out of hate.”
He emphatically declared that “As people of God we cannot say we are obeying God and continue to shed innocent blood and lives.”
As is usually the case, when election day is drawing closer “Heart man” activities become rampant, gripping people by fear. People avoiding walking alone on distant road or in the dark.
Archbishop Hart noted that total obedience and unflinching faithfulness are what God requires and demands of Liberians as people of a nation.
“Obedience from the heart and faithfulness without pretense are virtues that we need to cultivate as leaders and citizens of Liberia if we want our nation to prosper and be blessed by God.”
Speaking also on other societal ills, the West African archbishop and bishop of Liberia stressed that Liberians cannot truly profess to obey God when they continue to indulge in the practices of homosexual activities and the raping of young girls and children.
The archbishop lamented that homosexuality is on the rise as though it has been legalized. Young girls and even young boys are being raped or seduced by many of those who are wealthy.
Speaking on the theme, “Obedience and faithfulness Are What God Requires of Us,” the Liberian prelate also noted that obeying God requires doing away with violence and the destruction of properties and unwarranted strikes.
“We must resolve to find solutions to our problems in a more polite and civil manner, rather than by using violence which results in the loss of human lives and properties,” he averred.
On the issue of corruption, Bishop Hart indicated that this is a sin against God and God’s people. “The practice of corruption in our society today seems to be normal and is carried out by bosses in offices without fear.
The national intercessory prayer is a part of activities that mark Liberia’s Independence Day celebration this year.
The day has over the time been celebrated on a rotational basis in the counties since President Sirleaf took office in 2006; but this time it is being declared by the Protocol office that it is to be observed in homes and churches in prayer services to seek God’s intervention in the Ebola crisis facing the country.
The Liberian Chief of Protocol, Rufus Neufville, during the intercessory service announced that on July 25 there will be an honoring ceremony in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while on the 26th there will be an indoor program at the Centennial Pavilion in Monrovia.
According to the Chief of Protocol, all programs will have no reception or party as the case had been in the past, but will be dominated by prayers in churches and mosque.
This year’s celebration was expected to be held in Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties, but the Ebola crisis coupled with bad roads and other social issues led to the cancellation of the program in those counties.
Meanwhile, Bishop Hart acknowledged that if Liberia can experience the favor of God and prosper as a people and nation in the midst of the Ebola crisis, they need to render absolute obedience to and faith in God by turning away from their deceits and hypocrisy.
“In order to tap into the abundance of God’s blessing as a nation, we need to turn away from our greed and all forms and manners of corruption; forget about dirty politics and see each other as brothers and sisters and Liberia as our common denominator,” Bishop Hart asserted.
The service was attended by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, United States Ambassador Deborah Malac, Foreign Affairs Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan, Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly, Gender and Development Minister Julia Duncan Cassell and few other Government officials.
The intercessory prayer was expected to be well attended by Government officials; contrary to this belief, the service was poorly attended.
This was most probably due to poor advanced planning. For example, at press time on Thursday night, the Liberian media knew nothing about an intercessory service scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 21. Most media houses heard about it on Sunday morning, when the state broadcasting facility, ELBC, announced that its Outside Broadcast system was en route to Trinity Cathedral for a National Intercessory Prayer Service.