Film: Pray the Devil Back to Hell
Today, there was a showing of the film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, at the Luann Dummer Center for Women at the University of St Thomas.
I had no idea what the film was about, but I thought I would expand my horizons by attending.
I am so glad that I went! This film was incredible. It documents the women's peace movement in Liberia. Women from all over that country were tired of the running and the fear and the atrocities that had been plaguing their country during the long civil war.
Thousands of women spoke up. These were ordinary women - mothers, grandmothers, aunts, daughters. They were Christian. They were Muslim. They fasted. They prayed. They made a difference.
Below is a trailer of the movie:
There were two things that really struck me about these unique women.
They were women of extreme faith. It didn't matter if they were Christian or Muslim. They united. They recognized that bullets don't discriminate; bullets don't know if you're Christian or Muslim. They looked to the Bible and the story of Esther for their inspiration. At one point, they were all gathering at the fish markets to protest. This was at the beginning of their movement. One of the women was told she shouldn't go because those who went would just be killed. Her response? "If I should get killed, remember I was fighting for peace." That is faith.
They were women of extreme forgiveness. After the peace talks ended, these women still did not back down. They recognized their need to continue pushing for peace in Liberia. It was extremely difficult, but they showed forgiveness to the excombatants. They knew they needed to accept these fighters and not hold the past against them. They knew that Liberia would not be able to move forward without forgiveness. I cannot even imagine having to forgive those who wreaked such havoc on so many innocent, so many loved ones.
One of the women, near the end of the film, stated that if it weren't for different women from different walks of life banding together, that peace in Liberia probably would not have happened. How incredible was it, in a country so torn, that the women could come together. They could get to know one another and build on each other's experiences to make a strong stand for peace.