The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Liberian refugees crowd church compound

As fighting continues in Liberia and its capital, Monrovia, at least 1,000 people sought refuge by presstime in St. Peter's Lutheran Church there. The church was the site of a July 30, 1990, massacre of 600 refugees during the war begun by Charles Taylor, now the country's president.

"Fighting continues downtown as well as on the outskirts of the city," said Charles Pitchford, the Liberian representative of Lutheran World Federation/World Service. "The hospitals are overflowing and cannot take more people. And deaths by cholera are mounting." The city faces a water crisis and access to clean, safe drinking water is difficult, he said, adding that fighting also has been reported in the seaport city of Buchanan and in the rural area of Gbarnga.

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