Vice President Boakai calls for Religious Tolerance

Sunday, 28th December 2008

Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai is urging Liberians to transition from the age-old divisions of tribalism, class and religion, saying “religion should be a tool to unify and not to divide humanity.”

He is especially calling on Christians and Muslims to continue to live in harmony, noting, “There is no need  to agitate for supremacy of religion because God is not interested in supremacy or religion.”

Vice President Boakai made the call Saturday when he delivered the keynote address at the 8th Jalsa Salana Annual Conference of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Tweh Farm, Bushrod Island.

“My brothers and sisters, let us all realize that we are all one, and can live together in peace. We should celebrate our diversity. It should be our source of strength and never allow it to divide us.”

Vice President Boakai also challenged leaders of organizations in Liberia to lead the people in harmony  and encourage religious freedom, especially to those religions that recognize constituted authority.
The Liberian Vice President recommended that Liberians "begin to hold active and robust discussions  amongst ourselves , if we are to be truly our brother’s an sister’s keeper.”

Vice President Boakai said he was touched by the religious tolerance the Ahmadyya Mission has exhibited since its establishment in Liberia, adding, “The comportment of the Amadiyya Mission and the relations it has maintained with the Liberian Government and the communities in which they find themselves have… earned them the singular distinction of being a  law-abiding, peaceful, persevering and benevolent community.”

He also commended the Ahmadiyya Mission for its enormous contributions to Liberia’s health, education and agriculture sectors.

Earlier in remarks, the Amir and Missionary-in-Charge of the Amadiyya Mission in Liberia, Mohammed Akram Bajwah, said the Mission was involved in  education, health and agriculture in Liberia. He said the Mission runs two clinics in Liberia, one in Monrovia and one in Tubmanburg, and operates  schools in Monrovia and Tubmanburg.

Amir Bajwah also pledged his Mission’s willingness to cooperate with the Government in the field of agriculture to help reduce poverty in post-war Liberia.

He said they have provided local farmers in Bomi County with machines for processing farina to help themselves.

“We are here as a partner in progress. We will cooperate with the Government  in whatever endeavor that will help uplift it,” Amir Bajwah assured.

Also in remarks, the Secretary General of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Mr. Benjamin Lartey, stressed the need for Liberians to promote peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance, and assured that the LCC would work with all religious groupings that believe in the promotion of religious tolerance”.

“I call on all within our borders to be ambassadors of peace,” the LCC Secretary General emphasized, and called on all Christians to study the Holy Quran, noting, “We can only promote religious tolerance if we understand each other’s holy books.”
“The primary purpose of the Jalsa Salana,” the program brocuhe said,” is to enable every sincere individual to personally experience religious benefits…”.