Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone Raises Alarm Over Surge in Attacks on Churches

By Abubakarr Harding

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone (PFSL), in an engagement with the Press on Friday, March 15, 2024, at the Living Word of Faith Outreach Ministry International expressed deep apprehension regarding the escalating frequency of attacks on Pentecostal Churches across the country.

Bishop Akintayo Sam-Jolly, the esteemed President of PFSL, spoke with a heavy heart as he addressed the media, highlighting the alarming conditions besieging the welfare and tranquility of Pentecostal Churches in the nation.

“With grave concern,” remarked Bishop Akintayo Sam-Jolly, “we bring attention to the deteriorating circumstances surrounding the safety and harmonious existence of Pentecostal Churches in Sierra Leone.”

He lamented on the mounting tensions as Churches and Ministers face disenfranchisement, with scant recourse to justice for reported incidents. The Bishop underscored the distressing reality of matters brought to the court and their inadequate resolution, noting the blatant disregard for religious sanctity and the rule of law.

“Sacrilege, desecration, destruction, and violence persist against churches, with land disputes being arbitrarily overturned,” he further bemoaned adding that the egregious acts unfold before the eyes of authorities, yet justice remains elusive, fostering feelings of marginalization among their community.

Emphasizing Sierra Leone’s pride in religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence, Bishop Akintayo Sam-Jolly urged the preservation of these values for the collective good. He outlined a litany of grievances, including the unlawful seizure of church properties, law enforcement’s failure to prosecute offenders and infringements upon the freedom of worship.

“These injustices, ranging from property disputes to physical assaults, erode the fabric of our society,” Bishop Akintayo Sam-Jolly stated.

He cautioned that: “Without decisive action to defend the rights of the afflicted, this pattern of neglect poses a grave threat to the Pentecostal Community in Sierra Leone.”

While advocating for restraint and adherence to legal recourse, the PFSL President implored for justice and equitable treatment, admonishing against a descent into religious inequality akin to other nations’ tumultuous histories.

Bishop Akintayo Sam-Jolly urged the implementation of redress mechanisms to address grievances promptly and fairly. “We seek dialogue with relevant authorities, hopeful that our concerns will be earnestly considered,” he stated. “In pursuit of reconciliation, we call for a comprehensive review of past and ongoing disputes.”

As the Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone amplifies its plea for justice and solidarity, the nation stands at a crossroads, tasked with safeguarding its cherished principles of religious freedom and communal harmony.


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