The President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Armah Zolu Jallah, has warned against using the law of the land to marginalize one religion against the other.
He instead pointed out that the traditional practice of religious freedom which he said has become a culture for Liberians should not be denied, “so that the peace we have enjoyed as a secular state for decades will continue to be sustained.”
The Pro Tempore made the call for religious tolerance in the country recently at his Capitol Building office in Monrovia, in reaction to diversions of opinions on religious accommodations in the Constitution of Liberia during the just-ended National Constitution Conference on the review of the 1986 Constitution, held in Gbarnga, Bong County.
The Gbarpolu County lawmaker, who is a practicing Roman Catholic, is meanwhile cautioning both the Christian and Muslim communities to exercise restraint in the matter, and is calling on all key actors in the debate, including the Government of Liberia, opinion leaders and the Constitutional Review Committee, to handle the issue with “the highest degree of care in order that the situation will not degenerate into religious violence.”
Among the 25 items voted on by over 400 delegates at the Gbarnga Conference, observers believe the call by over 400 delegates to “return Liberia into Christian state” was the most controversial; and is stirring heated debates mainly among Christians who may stand to benefit if the Legislature allows it to go for a national referendum.
Meanwhile, ahead of a meeting on Tuesday of the leadership of the Liberia Council of Churches, relating to the Gbarnga Conference, one of the vice presidents told the Daily Observer that the LCC was given two slots as invitees to what he described as a "Government of Liberia facilitated program".
The overseer and pastor of the Brewerville-based New Water in the Desert Apostolic Pentecostal Church, Rev. Dr. Kortu K. Brown, told the Daily Observer that there is need for religious groups to coexist in harmony.