Pray the Devil Back to Hell

This excellent documentary tells the story of an amazing group of women who demanded peace from a decades-old civil war in Liberia. They took no sides and refused to be affiliated with any political faction. They didn't support either the government or the rebels, instead they kept their message pure: "We want PEACE!"

The movement was first ignored and the women who pioneered the group were either jailed or beaten, but as their numbers grew, even the president was forced to acknowledge them (all of the women wore white shirts, blouses or t-shirts, so they were highly visible to news cameras). The movement included women from all religions, including Muslims, who never wavered from their simple message. By focusing on that single goal, they couldn't be categorized as an enemy by any political group. To the soldiers, to other citizens, and to the world, they were everyone's grandmother, mother, aunt, sister or daughter.

By the time it numbered in the thousands, it had become a multinational movement and included women from neighboring African countries as well, all of whom continued to wear their trademark white.

This independent film (2009) includes archived newsreel clips, interviews with the principal movers and shakers, and a postscript which documents the result: the election of Liberia's first female president.

The former (brutal and highly corrupt) president is now exiled and the women continue to insist on peace for their struggling country.

NOTE: May 20, 2012 headline in the Seattle Times: Former Liberian president Charles Taylor gets a 50-year sentence in a U.N.-backed court for aiding and abetting war crimes.

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You probably already know this but Liberia came about as a result of requests from former American slaves to President Monroe to be transported back to Africa. He accommodated them and in gratitude they named their new country "Liberia" and their capital "Monrovia."