view of the protesters
In response to a violent protest at the Christ Chapel of Faith Ministry of Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson, alias “PYJ,” the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) has condemned the attack and called on political actors to act accordingly in protecting the peace and security of the state.
It can be recalled that a youth group under the banner National Patriotic Party (NPP) Youth Council on Sunday, May 21 2023 attacked the church while normal Sunday worship service was taking place, thus creating pandemonium that prematurely forced worshipers out of service.
The protesters, in their huge numbers, wore the regular Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) berets and were heard chanting slogans for the establishment of a war crimes and economic crime court.
The continued chants led to the Nimba County Senator to prematurely call off the service as he saw the entire church getting visibly empty as a result of fear.
Sometimes last week, Vice President Jewel Howard- Taylor, who is also the President of the Liberian Senate, at an endorsement ceremony organized by a group under the banner of “majority staffers” of Capitol for President George Weah, labeled Sen. Johnson as a “killer.”
Senator Johnson then took to his Facebook and informed Liberians that he would respond to the Vice President during service; hence, only to see the entire church besieged by organized protesters.
Accordingly, the Council, in a press statement issued on Monday, May 22, 2023, condemned the action of the protesters and whosoever that organized them to go and threaten the worship of peaceful and innocent Liberians.
NCSCL, which is the apex body of all civil society organizations in the country, described the act as disturbing to the peace of the country as the nation heads into one of the most crucial elections in history.
The Council, which is on the record of always preaching a doctrine of peace at different national gatherings and through statements, pointed out that if the peace of the country is to be maintained, all Liberians, especially those in the frontline of politics need to place country above self and party and begin to discuss the real issues that aim to make Liberia better and not bitter.
“The National Civil Society Council hereby condemns all acts of violence meted against peaceful worshippers at the Christ Chapel of Faith Ministry, a church run by Senator Prince Johnson. Regardless whosoever that runs it, be it a politician, a church or the mosque should be respected at all times. The Council believes that such violent attack, if not curtailed, has the propensity to plunge the country into chaos one day. And as we are all aware, the bullets or missiles choose no one or specific group of people. Therefore, the protection of the peace of this country is the responsibility of all Liberians, especially those in the frontline of politics; those at the helm of policy decisions making,” added the statement signed by Chairperson Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai.
At the same time, the Council is calling on Senator Johnson to desist from using his church platform to preach politics or as a ground to respond to political opponents.
The Council warned that the church or any place of worship should be void of the daily politics in the country, nor neither be used to preach hate messages as Sen. Johnson and others have conducted the made the church to be.