Liberia - (Africa)

Information about Liberia

97754 square kilometres
traditional 70%, Muslim 20%, Christian 10%
Christian (%)
Protestant (%)
Reformed (%)

Liberia was declared a colony in 1822 in order to settle freshly liberated American slaves. More slaves were to be unloaded in the following years from American and British warships. The international community recognized Liberia as a Republic after a Constitution was adopted in 1847. For over a century (from 1870 to 1980) the country was ruled by the “True Whig” Party, often chaired by church people like its latest leaders, W. V. S. Tubman and W. R. Tolbert. Samuel Kanyon Doe came to power in 1980 through a coup d’etat but was assassinated 10 years later. The ensuing civil war killed more than 150,000, displaced nearly 800,000 people within Liberia, and forced 750,000 refugees to live in neighboring countries. Less than a year after the August 1995 Abuja Peace Accord, war resumed when forces loyal to faction leader Charles Taylor and Alhaji Kromah attacked rival factions in Monrovia, further damaging the capital’s already dilapidated infrastructure and causing panic among the remaining foreign residents. Thousands sought refuge in American facilities. Prospects for peace became extremely uncertain again. Years of civil strife have destroyed much of Liberia’s economic infrastructure, made civil administration nearly impossible, and brought economic activity virtually to a halt.
The population of Liberia belongs in its majority to traditional African religions. Less than l0% are Christians (5.4% belonging to Prot. denominations). Since the ’50s a growing number of Muslim missionaries have come from Egypt and Pakistan. The Constitution had not changed from 1847 to 1985, when it was revised.
The largest Prot denominations are the Meth Church (Meth were already among the freed slaves in 1822), the Presbyterian Church in the USA (PCUSA) (1833), the Luth Church (dates back to 1860), and the Pent Church (1908). Among other Christian churches are the Angl Church, originating from the Prot Episcopal Church of the USA, and the RCath Church, which started mission work in 1841 only. The 12 mainline churches, including the Presbytery of Liberia in West Africa, constitute the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC). The LCC tries to keep political and church interests clearly separated, but often without success. The Liberian independent churches are organized in groups like the Pent Fellowship Union, the Association of Evangelicals of Liberia, and the National Union of Christian Alliance of Liberia.



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