Our Moral Responsibility
(A Speech By Rev. Napoleon L. Divine, Pastor, Christ International Baptist Church Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Washington, D.C. Protest on May 8th, 2003)
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the many Voices around this nation calling the world's attention to the very dreadful situation in our nation, Liberia. Our hearts are heavy as we continue to learn of the death and displacement of thousands of our fellow Liberians, as a result of the ongoing conflict between the government and various armed factions.
As individuals vie for power and control, innocent Liberians, who would otherwise be spending their lives with their families and children, are caught up in this spiral of conflict and violence. Obviously, they have given up on their leaders to make the sane decisions and personal sacrifices to bring peace to their country. Their only hope for a future of peace lies in the hearts and efforts of men and women of faith and conscience, to bring their plight to the attention of the larger world community. I believe that his rally achieves just that and you deserve our gratitude and praise.
You have been moved with compassion for those innocent victims of war and human suffering, and you make a profound statement today, that their cries for help will no longer go unheeded. You make a profound statement today that their long nights of questionings and prayers to God for deliverance will no longer remain unanswered. You make a profound statement today that injustice and abuse of power, though long endured, have a terminal life span.
You make a statement today that the sheer power of the human will and conscience is far greater than weapons of war and structures of power. And I have no doubt that the God of justice; love and kindness will bless your efforts in bringing peace to Liberia.
Today, you plant a tiny seed for justice and human rights that will Grow during the next several days and months into giant oaks of liberation and freedom for the Liberian people.
A few of you, no doubt, called out from work and skipped your classes to come to Washington, D.C. today, to create awareness of the dire conditions that afflict our people. Do not be discouraged if many do not share your love and passion for our people.
As others learn of your sacrifices and your yearning for freedom, these initial steps will mushroom into a larger base of support; there are many others like you, yet lacking in courage. You will inspire their confidence.
You have demonstrated today that Liberians living in America must have a moral responsibility towards their fellow Liberians living in pain and agony at home. We are here and they are there only by the grace and blessings of Almighty God and not by any measure of merits. To whom much is given, much is also expected.
I am very sorry that my recent illness prevents me from being there with you, but I share your concern, your agony and your tears for our people and country. I also share your hope that if we pray together, cry together and work together we will succeed in ending the tears, agony and sufferings of our beloved sisters and brothers in Liberia. Please continue to "Put Liberia First!"
May God bless you and please do not give up the fight. This December, 2003, God willing, Liberians will be dancing in the streets of Monrovia and the other areas of our beloved country, following their deliverance from their state of siege. Long Live Liberia!