UMC Demands Justice for Rape, Black Magic Murders in Liberia

ChurchLeaders | 7/30/2019 | Staff
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On July 2nd, 100 people organized by the United Methodist Church (UMC) protested outside Liberian President George M. Weah’s office. The protestors called on the president to be more proactive about fighting human rights violations, in particular, those committed against women and children who are suffering gang rape and ritualistic killings related to black magic.

“We are tired and wearied of the raping, killing, brutalization of children and women and the poor and corrupt justice system,” said Jefferson Knight, according to United Methodist News (UMN).

Knight - Head - UMC - Human - Rights

Knight, who is the head of the UMC’s Human Rights Office, told UMN that the government is taking too long to investigate the deaths of two young boys, a 9-year-old named Elijah Porluma and a 10-year-old named Thomas Kollie. The boys’ bodies were mutilated, “possibly for use in witchcraft or voodoo rituals.” According to Front Page Africa, the boys were found on June 3rd, several days after they were last seen and then declared missing.

The protestors also believe the government is being sluggish about investigating the alleged gang rape and death of a young woman named Odell Sherman. So far as is known, the police have not made any arrests in her case, and the circumstances surrounding her death are murky.

Knight - UMC - Public - Christian - Community

According to Knight, the UMC is also calling on the Liberian public and the Christian community to hold peaceful protests asking the government to take action. He said, “We want the government to act fast, knowing that justice delayed is justice denied.”

According to a November 2015 report from Reuters, Liberia’s president at the time, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, stated that ritualistic killings were on the rise in the country. At least 10 people had died in ritual killings since that past summer, with some suggesting that the increase in ritual deaths could be related to the...
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