Capital–-Monrovia (pop. 1,010,970). Principal towns–Ganta (pop. 41,000), Buchanan (pop. 34,000), Gbarnga (pop. 34,000), Kakata (pop. 33,000), Voinjama (pop. 26,000).
Population (2012): 3.887 million.
Ethnic groups: Kpelle 20%, Bassa 14%, Gio 8%, Kru 6%, 52% spread over 12 other ethnic groups. The Kpelle in central and western Liberia is the largest ethnic group. Americo-Liberians who are descendants of freed slaves that arrived in Liberia after 1820 make up less than 5% of the population. There also are sizable numbers of Lebanese, Indians, and other West African nationals who comprise part of Liberia’s business community. The Liberian constitution restricts citizenship to only people of Negro descent, and land ownership is restricted to citizens.
Languages: English is the official language. There are 16 indigenous languages.
Religions: Christian 85%, Muslim 12%, other 1.5%, no religion 1.5%.
Over 60% of the Liberia’s population is still unreached, and waiting to be evangelized and made disciples by Bible-believing Christian churches established amongst them. Islam is growing at a faster rate in Liberia than Christianity. And if the Church continues to ignore her responsibility to do missions, most of this large unreached population will be claimed by Islam and other religious groups and taken into a Christ-less eternity. The Church in Liberia has not yet prioritized indigenous mission work. The concentration of the Church is primarily in the cities, while the larger population in the interior of Liberia remains unreached or without the teaching of sound Biblical Christianity. This statistic further suggests that the traditional people and their medium of communication (languages/dialects) are still largely ignored by the Church or that the Gospel has not yet begun to be proclaimed with cultural relevance to make sense to the rural people and, hence, encourage their acceptance of it.
Living conditions Literacy (2008)–58%. Health: Life expectancy (2011)–57 years.
Work force: Agriculture–70%; industry–15%; services–2%. Employment in the formal sector is estimated at 15%. per capita GDP (2010): $500. Average annual inflation (2011): 10%.
Government: Type: Republic.
Branches: Executive—President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Judicial–Supreme Court, courts of first instance, courts of record, justices of the peace.
History: Liberia, “land of the free,” was founded by free African-Americans and freed slaves from the United States in 1820. An initial group of 86 immigrants, who came to be called Americo-Liberians, established a settlement in Christopolis (now Monrovia, named after U.S. President James Monroe) on February 6, 1820. Thousands of freed American slaves and free African-Americans arrived during the following years, leading to the formation of more settlements and culminating in a declaration of independence of the Republic of Liberia on July 26, 1847. The drive to resettle freed slaves in Africa was promoted by the American Colonization Society (ACS), an organization of white clergymen, abolitionists, and slave owners founded in 1816 by Robert Finley, a Presbyterian minister. Between 1821 and 1867 the ACS resettled some 10,000 African-Americans and several thousand Africans from interdicted slave ships; it governed the Commonwealth of Liberia until independence in 1847.
Americo Liberians dominated the indigenous Africans and formed the True Whig Party which ran all sections of the country from 1847 to 1980 when it was overthrown in a coup d’etat by Samuel Doe who was in turn assassinated in 1989. From 1989 to 1996 one of Africa’s bloodiest civil wars ensued, claiming the lives of more than 200,000 Liberians and displacing a million others into refugee camps in neighboring countries. Charles Taylor dominated the country and allowed it to become completely run down. He went into exile in Nigeria in 2003.
In 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf defeated international soccer star George Weah 59.4% to 40.6% to become Africa’s first democratically elected female president. She was re-elected by an overwhelming majority in 2011 and is striving to restore the nation to prosperity.
- An entry for CPM
- A concern in the Liberian church for the unreached people groups.
- The Lord to raise up workers.
- Healing from the traumas of the civil wars.