Liberia: Rev. Samuel Reeves urges fellow clergymen to take the lead and speak out against ritualistic killings

A remarkable sermon of Reverend Samuel Reeves in Monrovia, Liberia. “Today, we live in a world of words. Words on TV, words on the radio, spoken words, and words printed in the Newspaper, works in books, on the computers and words on the internet.(…)’ He continued saying that churches should take the lead in raising their voices against ritualistic killings and other evils in society. Remarkably, he noted that “(…) many Liberians are in the right place but in the wrong conditions (…)”. Unquote. (webmaster FVDK).

Liberia: Rev. Samuel Reeves urges fellow clergymen to “Take Lead and Speak Out” against evils in society such as ritualistic killings

Published: October 6, 2021
By: Obediah Johnson – Front Page Africa, Liberia

MONROVIA – The President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (LBMEC), Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, has underscored the need for churches in Liberia to take the lead and speak out against challenges, ritualistic killings and other forms of insecurities that have engulfed the nation.

Dr. Reeves is also the Senior Pastor of the historic Providence Baptist Church in Monrovia. Located on Broad and Center Streets in Monrovia, the Providence Baptist Church is considered as the cornerstone of Liberia. It is where Liberia’s Declaration of Independence was signed on July 26, 1847.

Dr. Reeves said Liberians, especially members of his Congregation should be mindful of whose voice they listen to during these critical times in the history of the country.

He made these assertions when he delivered his regular Sunday sermon at his church edifice on Broad Street in Monrovia.

He spoke on the Theme: Be Careful Whose Voice You Listen To, with text taken from the book of Mark 1:21-28.

“Church be careful whose voice you are listening to. Today, we live in a world of words. Words on TV, words on the radio, spoken words, and words printed in the Newspaper, works in books, on the computers and words on the internet. Whose voice are you listening to? There are all kinds of voices out there clamoring for our attention”.

Rev. Reeves noted that in the midst of numerous challenges, the times in Liberia are “fearful and dangerous”.

“Listen church, when we come face to face with the challenges in these fearful and dangerous times, don’t listen to voices like this man that want to tear down instead of build-up, condemn instead of commend. Don’t listen to voices like his man that are only concern about keep things the ways they are and keeping you in your broken condition”.

“In times like these the Church must lead with the power and in the power of God and allow the word of God through Jesus to speak healing and bring change to our situations and conditions of impurity, idolatry, jealousy, anger, dissensions, envy, drunkenness, drug-abuse, insecurity, greed and corruption”.

He stated that though demons remain visible in the Liberian society, citizens should be cognizant of the fact that the word of God is always a “treat to ignorance, poverty and disease, a treat to corruption, to injustice, to poor leadership, to lies, and deceptions, laziness and greed”.

He noted that the demons in Liberia are afraid because Jesus is a threat to their powers and their authorities.

Rev. Reeves maintained that Jesus,  the word of God remain “a threat to corruption that leads to poverty, and lies that lead to fear, timidity, insecurity and uncertainty whether in our homes, in the church or in the government”. 

Leave us

He added that Liberians should also bear in mind that  there are those in their respective homes, communities, in the nation and government, who are saying “just leave us alone-we are satisfying with the corruption, inadequacies, and the insecurities that is destroying our nation; leave us along they say all is well and rosy”.

He noted that though many Liberians are in the right place but in the wrong conditions, they should bear in mind that the word of God, through the Voice of God wants to destroy the insecurities that have created the conditions in the nation, including the insecurities created by ritualistic killing, corruption.

Source: Liberia: Rev. Dr. Samuel Reeves Urges Fellow Clergymen to “Take Lead and Speak Out” against Evils in Society

Liberia: woman dies after reportedly taking ‘sassywood’ to clear her innocence from witchcraft allegations

In Liberia, superstition is widespread. On more than one occasion I have written about this phenomenon in the West African country, Africa’s oldest republic, founded in 1847. The most recent occasion was on July 5, 2020 after a girl had been terribly tortured by her siblings who accused her of witchcraft. At the end of July another case which had actually happened in the preceding month was reported.

This time it was linked to an old ritual, trial by ordeal or ‘sassywood ordeal’ as it is called in Liberia. The Liberian government has outlawed the ‘sassywood or sasswood ordeal‘ many, many years ago, but It enacted a law that was never enforced – for various reasons. In 2009 seven people, accused of witchcraft in River Gee County, in the south of the country, died of whom two died from drinking the poison.

On Monday June 27, Sarah Togba, a woman in Gaye Town, in Grand Gedeh County, died after she ‘voluntarily’ took a ‘sassywood’ to prove her innocence after she had been accused of witchcraft causing the death of several persons. I fear that she will not be the last victim of this age-old practice of trial by ordeal, in fact a kind of mob justice. Still in the 21st century the rule of law is not applied in Liberia (webmaster FVDK).   

Liberia: Woman Dies after Reportedly Taking ‘Sassywood’ to Clear her Innocence from Witchcraft Allegations

Published: July 27, 2020
By: Front Page Africa – Lennart Dodoo 

GRAND GEDEH – A woman in Gaye town, Gbarzon District 3 in Grand Gedeh County met her untimely death on Monday, June 27 after she voluntarily took a ‘sassywood’ (trial by ordeal) to prove her innocence of allegations that she has been involved with witchcraft activities and had orchestrated the death of several persons.

Sarah Togba, according to reports gathered by FrontPageAfrica, was accused along with 13 others of being responsible for the death of one Zean Lolee Sayee who died recently in the country. He was 58 years old.

An eyewitness, Albert Thoudou, told FrontPageAfrica that Sayee’s children, during the funeral rites, confessed to being witches and claimed they knew who caused the death of their father. Sarah and 13 others were mentioned, according to the eyewitness.

He explained to FrontPageAfrica that some of those accused verbally denied the allegation, but Sarah who has on many occasions been accused of being a witch, opted to clear her name by voluntarily taking the “sasssywood”.

“By our tradition here, we have a tree in the bush we call the sassywood tree, if you shew the bark of that tree and you’re innocent, nothing will happen to you and if you’re guilty you’ll die. Sarah went into the bush and people saw her coming back with the sassywwod tree in her mouth. But she suddenly fell and died on the spot,” Thoudou explained.

He added, “I witnessed the incident, she was not forced by the elders. She decided to do it herself. She has always been accused of being a witch, so, maybe, she wanted to clear her name once and for all.”

According to him, four of the accused admitted to the allegation prior to Sarah opting for trial by ordeal. The eyewitness further disclosed that six others are on the standby to prove their innocence.

Meanwhile, he disclosed that the children of the deceased who leveled the witchcraft allegation and also claimed to be witches and wizards have cautioned that unless some traditional rites are performed in the town, six other persons would die in similar fashion their father died.

Source: Liberia: Woman Dies after Reportedly Taking ‘Sassywood’ to Clear her Innocence from Witchcraft Allegations