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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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New life in Liberia

Liberian Lutherans maintain their faith and hope in the face of war's atrocities and failed peace accords

"We can't take any more of this--families separated, starvation, murder and other atrocities, homes looted and children persuaded to become soldiers. We want peace," several Liberians told me when I visited Liberia five years ago. But they've lived through five more years of unrest. (After this story was written, intense fighting broke out in Monrovia, the capital, spurring evacuations.)

The major parties in this West African country's conflict signed a pea ce agreement last August, one of nearly 20 peace accords signed since the war began in December 1989. A six-member leadership team now governs the country until elections can be held later this year. The cease-fire that was part of the accord has been bro ken by occasional bursts of fighting, sometimes temporarily suspending humanitarian work.


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