Liberia United Methodist Church Suspends Pastor Accused of Rape

Gbarnga — Rev. Samuel Kayeah, the pastor accused of raping his 15-year-old congregant, has been suspended by the United Methodist Church in Liberia. "The suspension of Rev. Karyeah is in relation to the investigation and subsequent arrest on rape charges against the pastor," the church said in a release.

Police in Gbarnga on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 sent to court the 54-year-old pastor of the St. John United Methodist Church in Gbarnga after he was earlier investigated and charged with statutory rape.

The church said the alleged sexual misconduct against the alleged victim was cruel and called for speedy investigation into the matter. "The church is interested in the outcome," the church in a release Thursday said, stating that 'it has committed itself to providing assistance in ensuring that justice is prevailed".

The church said it had a zero-tolerance policy against gender-based violence. "We are following this case with interest to ensure is done," the release further. "We will make sure that every child is protected."

Meanwhile, the executive director of the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND), Aaron Juakollie, said the church's response was appropriate. "They are not defending the pastor. This is what needs to happen in every church. The law must take its course without interference."

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