The country of Liberia began as a mixture of indigenous tribal groups led by freed slave immigrants who brought American/European culture and ways to the coast of West Africa. The first ship landed in 1821 and Liberia was officially an independent nation in 1847. The settlers also brought Christianity and a commitment to the abolition of slavery. In reality, the love of money and class warfare ruled the day more than the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel did not reach most of Liberia. Power and the love of money did, since it was already in place in tribal form.
The tribal chiefs now had a whole new ruling class above them. The conflicts that already existed between the tribes took on new meaning. Since the indigenous people could not overpower the Americo-Liberians, tension and rebellion slowly simmered until the pot was ready to boil over. The outward growth and prosperity of Liberia was too thin of a veil to cover the hostility that existed everywhere. There was no real peace.
The gods of money and government failed and the rice riots began in 1979. In 1980 president Tolbert was assassinated and 13 government cabinet members were executed. The problem was not solved. It was just beginning. Civil war was coming and lasted until 2003. The war ended, but class and tribal conflict is still in full force. True reconciliation has not happened. Christ Jesus alone must be the peace and the hope of Liberia.
Pray for peace and reconciliation for every class and tribe and dialect in Liberia. Pray that during the elections, in a time where we often look to individual human beings to blame or to solve our problems, that Liberians would instead put their hope and faith in God for healing, peace, and true reconciliation that only He can provide.
Most gracious heavenly Father, we pray for the peace of Liberia, the true peace that you alone can give. Peace with you and peace between people. The rich and the poor, male and female, black and white, slave and free, every tribe, nation, and language, you have made them all. After you scattered mankind, you called all to come together as one through and in Christ Jesus. You have destroyed the dividing wall of hostility, by nailing it to the cross. We pray that your gospel is planted, takes root, grows, and bears fruit like never before. Let the whole world know that you sent Jesus, because in Liberia, they love one another. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
“Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on the earth– he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength, it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those who hope in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death, and to keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:12-22
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28