Republic of Liberia
A Tragic State....
Plagued by fourteen years of civil war, the Republic of Liberia, regarded by the original settlers as the "promised land," currently stands as one of the world's most impoverished nations. Located on the western coast of Africa, the country whose name literally means "Land of the Free" was established in 1822 (with the support of the American government) as a colony for free-born and formerly enslaved African Americans. From its inception, though, ethnic issues divided the population of Liberia and fueled hostility between people groups. Though Liberis is a country which boasts natural resources including iron, diamonds, rubber and timber, the recent decades of war and political corruption have left Liberia poor and destitute. Road systems and buildings are in shambles. Rich farmland is now covered by brush and unkempt forest. Worst of all, the people are left traumatized and scarred by a nation in constant conflict.
Over 65% of the population have been (and in many cases remain) refugees, without a home to call their own. The atrocities of hate are rampant in Liberia with almost every person in that country having been a victim or perpetrator of indescribable acts of violence. An estimated 200,000 people were killed during the wartime that spanned from 1989 to 2003. Children were robbed of their youth and forced to act as soldiers, trained to carry guns and kill on demand. In fact, over 50,000 children under the age of 17 have been killed in direct combat. And every Liberian child has been affected. Many are orphaned. Some suffer from hunger, homelessness, uncontrollable violent tendencies; they live in constant fear.
Hope for Healing…
This picture of tragedy need not be a perpetual state for Liberia. The end of the fighting in 2003, a new governmental leadership team elected in 2005, and the awareness, efforts, and prayers of people around the world have brought hope for recovery in Liberia.
The E.C. church is directly involved with such restoration efforts. In fact, the Global Ministries Commission has had works in Liberia since the 1950’s. Thirty-six E.C. churches have remained resolute, even through the destruction of the war-torn years. There are currently more that 9,000 members in the E.C. church of Liberia and the numbers are growing every day.
A new chapter in the life of the EC Church of Liberia. In January 2016 the church held its first election for the next leader of the Church. The new leader is Rev. Abraham Powell. He will serve a six year term and can serve 2 terms.