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Liberia: Ex-Catholic Priest Promises Islamic Holidays

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Controversial ex-Catholic priest now, the founder and bishop of the so-called Independent Catholic of Liberia has promised Islamic holidays for Muslims if elected as member of the House of Representatives in October.

Now a protestant Bishop Nimely Doryen said Liberia is a secular state suggesting that no religion should be dominant. Liberia as a nation observed many national Christian holidays but none for the Muslim community, he told a group of Islamic women in Jacob Town.

Defeated in 2017, Doryan is hoping his pro-Islamic agenda in a relatively Muslim controlled district will secure him a seat in the House.

About 12% of Liberia’s 5.5 million population are Muslims. Since 1995 there has been calls from Muslim groups and clerics for the government to recognize Islamic holidays. On May 25, 2022, Senator Edwin Snowe introduced three draft bills that would make Easter Monday, Eid al-Adha, and Eid al-Fitr public holidays. Snowe, who represents predominately Muslim Bomi County in the western part of the country, publicly noted that the introduction of the bills was not intended to bring conflict or seek favor from any segment of society, but rather represented his belief in equality and religious freedom as guaranteed by the constitution and law.

The draft bills gained the support of the Muslim community but some Christian organizations and leaders expressed opposition, while some described the actions of Senator Snowe as “unwise and hypocritical.”

In May, Chief Imam of Liberia Sheikh Ali Krayee renewed calls for the government to recognize Islamic holidays, stating that the country would never have peace until Islamic holidays were granted.

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