President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has by proclamation declared Friday, April 8, as “National Fast and Prayer Day” and is to be observed throughout Liberia as a National Holiday.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Day is to be observed as a day of supplication, prayer, fasting and meditation so that the country’s efforts as a nation and people may be crowned with great achievements to the common cause of the Nation, the State and its humanity. The Proclamation calls upon all Prelates, Priests, Elders, Deacons, Evangelists, Imams and all residents, regardless of religious creed, to gather with one accord in their places of worship, across the territorial confines of Liberia, in simple and non-costly apparel to fast, pray and meditate from 8 o’clock in the morning. The release says all public offices and business houses as well as market places are to be closed during the observance, while all citizens and residents will cease from their usual occupations and avocation in recognition of God’s love and guidance. The Proclamation recalls that there have been unusual and extraordinary outbreaks of natural phenomena and man-provoked national crises that have caused much harm, devastation and destruction in many parts of the world, and in Liberia from which, by the Grace of God, survivors have been spared. The Proclamation recounts that there are large numbers of the nation’s kith and kin living in uncertain conditions in the Diaspora, and the need for remembrance in prayer of those who have made the supreme sacrifice remains unfulfilled. “The people of Liberia have always submitted themselves, in humble contrition, to the Almighty God for guidance and protection as well as for peace in their national life and affairs,” the Proclamation stresses. The Proclamation is in consonance with an Act of the National Legislature passed in 1883 declaring the second Friday in April of each year as “National Fast and Prayer Day” for the safety and welfare of the nation and its people with penitent reference to God.