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  • April 2012
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The Prayer Behind Leymah Gbowee’s Nobel Peace Prize

Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee (Photo credit: aktivioslo)

I love hearing women’s stories, especially when I can relate to them. Leymah Gbowee‘s story about bringing a peaceful revolution to Liberia is one I really connect with.  She recognized her weaknesses, her need for God, and she spoke truth to power.  Leymah Gbowee, mother and activist, is my kind of woman, and  she changed the course of an entire nation!

Leymah Gbowee is the narrator and central character in the 2008 documentary film Pray the Devil Back to Hell. This Nobel Peace Prize winner helped to bring down former Liberian President Charles Taylor, by among other things, organizing the women of Liberia to stop having sex with their husbands until they laid down their arms to stop killing for Charles Taylor’s terrible regime.  The women even threatened to strip naked in the public square (a terrible shame and a curse in their country), if the men refused to do this.

These tactics worked, and the women kept their clothes on!

Gbowee’s story is not a lovely one, and her doctrine seems hardly evangelical…but…I’m proud to say we share a special bond. She received her Masters from my first university, Eastern Mennonite, in Harrisonbug, VA…and I know the atmosphere there was filled with the peace of Christ.

This is where I began to understand what it meant to love God with my whole heart, mind and soul…and to love my neighbor as myself, and to follow Christ regardless of where He led me.

I like to think Gbowee and I may have shared some of the same sacred places at EMU; maybe a shade tree on the hill-top overlooking the dorms, where we prayed for our Lord to give us a loving “makeover”.

She is presently advocating for women in her campaign against female genital mutilation, FGM, a practice that is very common in Africa and many Arab nations.

The Ceasefire Prayer Behind Leymah Gbowee’s Nobel Peace Prize | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.

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