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|Seeking God's Face -Liberian Youth To Fast, Pray For Violent-Free Elections|
|Published on March 31, 2011||Email To Friend Print Version
The youths of Liberia say they are seeking the face of God as the best alternative to ensure that similar post electoral violence in neighbouring Ivory Coast (now turning into full scale war) does not plague Liberia after general and presidential elections late this year.
As a result, they young people, who account for more than 60% of the country's 3.5 million population, have resorted to staging a nationwide weeklong Fast and Prayer from April 3rd to the 8th to seek God's face and grace over the country.
Under the auspices of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL), the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) and the Youth Action International (YAI), during the prayer week, the young people will pray for a “violent-free, peaceful and successful elections”.
Addressing a joint press conference in Monrovia Wednesday, the chair person of the Youth Week of Fast and Prayer, Rebecca A. Tarpeh said intent of the idea, born by YAI Executive Director Kimmie L. Weeks, is to “seek God's divine intervention in reshaping the attitude and recreation of youth towards disputes or conflict resolution through peaceful dialogues”.
Under the them “A New Look Into The Future” with text taken from the Book of Luke 10:38, the Youth Week of Fast and Prayer will be officially launched on April 3rd in Monrovia in the huge edifice of the Trinity Cathedral Episcopal Church on Broad Street, beginning 2PM.
Top government officials from the three branches including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Vice Joseph Nyumah Boakai as well as political leaders of the country and members of the Diplomatic Corps have been invited to attend the occasion, Chairperson Tarpeh said.
Musa M. Bamba, the Chair of the NMCL Youth Desk, said seeking the face of Allah was the best thing for the young people and the country in general to do, especially as we move towards another election.
He said fasting and praying were the best way for man to make his petition known to Allah, and called on young people of the country to be part of the Youth Week of Fast and Prayer.
FLY President Mathew Zayzay said the country was about to face a very difficult and critical period—electioneering—and noted that the successful crossing of the pending period by Liberians will open a brighter door for the country.
He said the initiative must go beyond words as the country would not want to face any of what happened in Guinea (now peaceful) and Ivory Coast (at war).
Post electoral violence in Ivory Coast has sent more than one million Ivoirians into refugees and displaced camps in the region; about 80,000 of them are now reported in Liberia, a development political pundits claim threatens the country's pending elections.
Hundreds of others have been killed in gun battles and properties damaged –painting an image of what happened in Liberia only seven years ago.
Mr. Zayzay, himself a representative aspirant, said political leaders of the country must show interest in peace and stability by being a part of the week-long intervention, and called on religious leaders to emphasize the initiative during their congregational worships services during the weekend.
“We call on each of them to devote just five minutes to encourage their people to be part of the initiative; we all must seek the face of God to protect this country from sliding into another conflict,” he pleaded.
YAI's Kimmie Week, from whom the idea originated, lauded partners for buying the idea and for supporting the initiative. This is the first time, he observed, young people of Liberia will come together under such initiative to fast and pray for their country.
The Youth Week of Fast and Prayer which will take place across the country simultaneously will be communicated through youth groups and the county headquarters of FLY and religious organizations, say organizers. “We will use cell phones to reach out top the rest of the country,” Weeks added.
The youth said the power of God is greater than any other power and that's why they have decided to seek his divine intervention ahead of the country's second post war democratic elections which will reportedly determine the next course of Liberia: to slip back into war or continue the current path of development. Writes D Kaihenneh Sengbeh, email@example.com; 06 586 531