The Faith and Justice Network of Liberia has launched its 2019 annual Church Leaders conference. More than 40 participants comprising of church leaders, policymakers, faith based institutions, human rights institutions, civil society organizations, experts amongst others to analyze and understand the ongoing debates around constitutional reform through referendum. FJN builds alliance with civil society organizations within the Mano River Basin countries to campaign against social injustices, foster ethical development and promote a just peace society. The institution also empowers citizens and society’s establishment the system of good governance, distribute and constraint power, protect the rights of citizens and deal with various issues or substantive policy that are considered foundational in the context of Liberia” Noted FJN’s Boss.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, FJN Regional Executive Director Rev. Dr. Tolbert T. Jallah said the conference is aimed at informing church leaders to understand the design and amendment process that allows the Constitution to be changed for the Public good of the citizens so that they (church leaders) can educate their congregation on wise constitutional decisions especially as debates on constitutional reform are in every quarter of the Liberian society.
Serving as keynote speaker at the occasion, Cllr. Gloria Musu-Scott, former Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Committee(CRC) urged Church Leaders to educate their congregations about the impacts of the ongoing constitutional amendment process in the Country. She appealed to the Church to serve as guidance for the population to vote in favor or against a proposition during the pending referendum. She lamented that clerics of the land should comport themselves at all times as messengers of trust. The renowned Liberian Lawyer said that she has observed that the ordinary people have no trust in Government Officials due to corruption, lack of transparency and accountability.
Meanwhile, the FJN’s putting Justice at the Heart of Faith Church leader’s conference was graced by eminent personalities such as the Ambassador of Sweden, Madam Ingrid Wettergrist, River Gee County Senator, Hon.Conmany Wesseh, Nimba County Representative Hon. Larry P. Yonquoi, National Peace Ambassador, Rev William R. Tolbert III Sister Mary Lauren Brown, including several prominent clergymen amongst others. It was also characterized by two panel discussions on the topics” What risks might be associated with the use of referendum, and how might these be mitigated and what role should the people have in consenting to constitutional amendments? attracted eminent personalities such as the Ambassador of Sweden, Madam Ingrid Wettergrist, River Gee county Senator, Hon.Conmany Wesseh, Nimba County Representative Hon. Larry P. Yonquoi, National Peace Ambassador, Rev William R. Tolbert III several prominent clergymen amongst others to address systemic socio-economic inequalities and help build a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous future.
The church leaders annual conference with the theme” Amendment Formulas and Basic Design Options for the Constitution of Liberia comes under the heels that the constitution needs to be protected against short-term changes or changes hastily approved without due reflection and consideration by citizens. FJN believes that if the constitution is to endure, it must be able to respond to changing needs, circumstances of the citizens, and correct provisions that have proved inadequate overtime. The well-attended conference which was launched on Thursday October 3 -4 at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia provided pastors and church workers the importance to give good, well-informed, context relevant support to local community leaders on constitutional amendment issues in a quick and easy way during worship services. The conference informs church leaders about appropriate options that fit the ongoing constitutional debate processes in Liberia.
Liberia’s current constitution is among the oldest on the continent. Not much has been done even after 14 years of civil war that repeatedly tested the responsiveness of the Constitution to political crises. The Liberian constitution is not unchangeable. It must be able to respond to changing needs, circumstances of the citizens, and correct provisions that have proved inadequate overtime.