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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Religions in Liberia
Author:Taryor (Sr), Nya Kwiawon
Geographic term:Liberia
African religions
Abstract:As in most African countries, there are three living religions in Liberia, namely, African traditional religions, Islam, and Christianity. Each of these three religions has played and is playing a major role in the history and development of Liberia. The most recent data (1986) reported that 75 percent of the Liberian population practise African traditional religions, that 10 percent are Muslims, and 15 percent are Christians. There are about 16 tribes in Liberia. Each tribe has its own religious system with sets of beliefs and practices. The author presents a survey of the characteristics of traditional religions in Liberia. This is followed by an account of the missionary activities of the Christian churches in Liberia. The Methodist Episcopal Church and the Protestant Episcopal Church had the most extensive missionary organizations and were the most active in Liberia from the first half of the 19th century. The emergence of independent churches gives evidence to the 'schism and renewal' Liberian churches must be prepared to face. The Islamic faith came to Liberia in the 15th century as a result of trade and commercial contacts. In conclusion, the author examines relations between Church and State, and reflects on the position of religions in Liberia in the post-1980-coup era. Bibliogr., notes.