Prayer services across the USA for the launch of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations
Washington DC, 10th January, 2011: The Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington D.C. in collaboration with the North America 50th Independence Anniversary Planning Committee held both Muslim and Christian Prayers on Friday 7th and Sunday 9th January 2011 respectively, to launch the year-long celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of Sierra Leone’s Independence, which His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma declared launched on Saturday 1st January 2011.
Islamic prayers were offered at the Sierra Leone Community Center in Hyattsville Maryland, where a good number of Sierra Leoneans (including some Christians) turned up to lift up the leadership and people of Sierra Leone to God as they celebrate the golden jubilee of Independence.
The Dhuhr prayers was officiated by Imam Alhaji Alusine Kamara, who focused his preaching on the expectations of a good leader and how he must relate with his subjects, the Al-Fatiha was read for President Koroma, the government and the people of Sierra Leone.
On Sunday 9th, January 2011, at 3:00 p.m., the Christian prayers were successfully undertaken and concluded at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Takoma Park, where prayers were offered for the good health, and foresight of the president and people of Sierra Leone.
His Excellency the Ambassador Mr. Bockari Kortu Stevens, who also did the First Reading, gave a brief remark in support of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations.
“No doubt, you are all aware that Sierra Leone is a nation typified by a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society that draws its very rich heritage from the harmonious co-existence of all irrespective of ethnicity, religious or political creed. After 50 years of independence therefore, we are proud to be celebrating our diversity and our unity. We are celebrating our triumph over challenges that shook the values we believed in; we are celebrating the fact that those values stood the test of time even in the face of adversity. Today, a country that has had its share of triumph, of woes, of laughter and of tears can once again celebrate. Simply put, we are celebrating a new energy of nation building and successes we are recording as a nation under an ‘Agenda for Change’ elaborated by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.”
The Liturgist was the Rte. Rev. Bishop Lucy Sharon Mae Anthony and the Chair was Rev. Gloria Cline-Smythe. The welcome address was delivered by the host Rev. Canon Dr. Julius Grey-Coker, while several other Christian dignitaries offered special prayers for His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and his government, for thanksgiving, for Peace and Unity in Sierra Leone, Growth and Development, and a final one for the Youth –tomorrow’s leaders.
The sermon: “Sierra Leone: A new Wineskin will transform the Nation” was delivered by Bishop Joseph Edison Bass of Our Savior Christ The King Church, Pennsylvania.
In realizing the President’s vision for the Independence celebrations, the Embassy and the Planning committee drew up an agenda for the year-long celebration, kicked off by a round of Muslim and Christian Prayers.
On Sunday March 20 – Friday, March 25, 2011, there will be a one week of Muslim and Christian fasting and prayers. Wednesday, March 23rd 2011 will be observed as the Inter-Religious Memorial Day to commemorate the day on which the RUF rebels launched their terror that brought 11 years of carnage on defenseless people in Sierra Leone.
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