The Contribution of Religion toSocial Reconciliation: A Case Study of Liberia
Ms Lucie Judith Sewe, MA

Religion, has, in the recent past, become a key factor in matters of conflict and reconciliation. In several cases, followers of different religions and political leaders across the world, have manipulated religion to pursue hidden goals. In the process, religion is misinterpreted and undermined, in some cases, leading to further conflict. This paper has two objectives. First, to articulate the convergence between various religions, focusing on Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism and the value addedto social reconciliation. Secondly, the paper presents an account of a women-led interdenominational group which was established primarily to fight for political liberation in Liberia. This was after several years of political repression and human suffering under the dictatorial President, Charles Taylor, who had come into power in a coup in 1989, in a country that was highly divided by rebel factions. Liberia presents one of the fairly successful liberation processes in Africa wherewomenrose above their religious boundaries to collectively fight for a common objective. The groupportrayed religion as the universal custodian of morals with the legitimate authority to promote reconciliation. They staged sit-ins, prayed, sang and cried for peaceas they demanded an election. Taylor finally succumbed to pressure and agreed to attend the peace talks with the rebels, bringing conflict to an end. The most dramatic change was the election of a female president, Ellen Johnson.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jgpc.v6n2a1