Christianity and Politics in Doe’s Liberia by Paul Gifford

By Paul Gifford

This learn examines the position of Christianity in Liberia less than the corrupt regime of Samuel okay. Doe (1980-1990). Paul Gifford indicates that, normally, Liberian Christianity--far from being a strength for justice and human advancement--diverted awareness from the reason for Liberia's ills, left swap to God's wonderful intervention, inspired obedience and recognition of the established order, and therefore served to entrench Doe's energy. This Christianity, devised in and regulated from the USA, therefore furthered nearby American financial and political goals, which have been designed to aid Doe's rule.

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42 Whether 'togetherness' is the right word to describe what existed in Doe's Liberia is a moot point. The judiciary likewise had no independence. ' 43 The Ministry ofJustice merited little respect. Doe's first Minister of Justice, Chea Cheapoo, in full view of TV cameras, told the staff of the Daily Observer that the next time they carried a story about him he would hound them from door to door and shoot them dead; and Doe's last Minister ofJustice continually expressed views which would probably have had him barred from practising law in most countries.

20 Christianity and politics in Doe's Liberia government. The courts and Doe's executive branch removed from government jobs all candidates of other parties; no NDPL candidate, however, was compelled to resign. ' Doe also used his control of the public purse to his advantage. He suddenly gave teachers their back pay, and he used government funds for scholarships for students at the university, and to give Si00,000 to needy students. None of this was political, he claimed. He used the government's monopoly in awarding contracts to win support from the business community.

In this, 6 the Supreme Court was simply performing the government's bidding'. 45 Fr James Hickey, an American priest deported from Liberia on 10 April 1987, in his testimony to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee gave a good account of Liberian justice in action. He was never told what offence he had committed. His archbishop could not leave him alone after his arrest in case he 'disappeared'. Justice Minister Jenkins Scott ' seemingly found himself in the difficult position of putting the best legal face on what he knew was a precipitous arbitrary decision taken [by Doe] without any reference to constitutionality, law, international agreements and human rights'.

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