Monrovia, 27 April, 2023 / 8:40 pm (ACI Africa).
Catholic entities in the West African nation of Liberia are calling on the country’s government, religious leaders, and officials of civil society organizations to work towards creating fora for survivors of the Liberian civil war to share their experiences.
In their communiqué shared with ACI Africa Monday, April 24, representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Liberia (CABICOL), the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of Germany, and AGIAMONDO express their awareness of the fact that the experience of violent conflict in “recent decades has left deep wounds in Liberian society” and that silencing and marginalizing survivors of war can hinder “the healing process”.
“We encourage the State, faith-based and civic leaders to acknowledge a collective responsibility to provide safe and meaningful opportunities for victims and survivors to tell their stories, to support each other, and to advocate for their needs regarding the healing process,” they say.
In the statement following their five-day meeting that concluded April 21, representatives of the three Catholic entities who participated in the International Workshop on “Dealing with the Past and Reconciliation – Learning in the Light of the Liberian Experience” indicate that they had encountered “forgotten, abandoned, isolated and even fearful” survivors of the Liberian civil war.
A Solemn Memorial Mass was held on Friday, 21 April 2023 at Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Church-St Joseph Parish Monrovia to conclude the workshop. Credit: CABICOL