Leading churchmen from the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) claim that the deadly Ebola Virus is a plague sent by God to punish homosexuals and others committing “immoral acts.”
The Independent reports that religious leaders recently attended a meeting of the LCC to talk about an appropriate “spiritual response” to the disease which has now claimed almost 1,000 lives across West Africa.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced a 90-day state of emergency in the country, warning that “ignorance and poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices,” were the reasons that the disease was spreading so rapidly.
She said that the state of emergency was necessary for “the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people.” She had instructed that the military would be deployed to quarantine badly hit communities.
A report from The Daily Observer stated that the church leaders at the meeting agreed unanimously that “God is angry with Liberia” and decided that Ebola has been sent “as a plague” on the country.
The resolution said (in part): “Liberians have to pray and seek God’s forgiveness over the corruption and immoral acts (such as homosexualism, etc.) that continue to penetrate our society. As Christians, we must repent and seek God’s forgiveness.”
The LCC also strongly suggested that Liberians should remain indoors for a three-day period of fasting and prayer.
Part of the problem in Liberia is that families are hiding sick relatives in their homes. Bodies of victims are being abandoned in the streets as many are suspicious of Western medicine and refuse to go to isolation wards.
Operation White Shield — as the military deployment is called — is expected to be fully in place by Friday. Residents in the capital, Monrovia, received the announcement with fear and concern; the exact details of the emergency powers have not yet been made public.
Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva were involved in a series of meetings to hash out an agreement on emergency measures to tackle the highly contagious virus. Today, Friday, they have declared the Ebola Virus outbreak to be an international public health emergency.