Monrovio: Liberians began fasting and prayers Wednesday for redemption from the curse of Ebola, that has gripped them. They will continue with the rituals for three days. So far this epidemic has killed 2,705 people and infected 4,665 in other parts of Africa.
The National Christian Ebola Task Force, an organization formed in September by different Christian denominations, urged Liberians to fast from dawn-to-dusk over the next three days.
"Ebola is a virus from the devil. It's killing us because we have turned our back to God," Reverend David G. Benitoe, a representative of the task force, told a news conference.
"We have traded the worship of God with the worship of demons and witchcraft, and evil stuff is now happening in this country," Benitoe said.
Liberia has been worst hit by Ebola.
In total, the epidemic has killed nearly 5,000 people and infected some 13,703 people since it was first reported in Guinea in March.
The disease has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Nigeria, with Mali becoming this month the sixth West Africa nation touched by the outbreak. Nigeria and Sierra Leone have now been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization.
Isolated cases have also been reported in Spain and the United States.
The WHO also said on Wednesday there were indications it was slowing, with falls in the number of burials, new admissions and a plateau in laboratory-confirmed cases.
About 85 percent of Liberia's 4 million people are Christians, while about 12 percent are Muslims. Since the beginning of the outbreak, Liberians have packed churches on Sunday, singing and praying for deliverance.
Thousands of mobile phone subscribers received text messages on their phones on Wednesday asking them to take part.
"I have the faith that after Friday things will not be the same in Liberia with Ebola," said Mary Freeman, who attends the Faith Healing Temple of Jesus Christ of Monrovia, adding that she had started fasting on Wednesday morning.
"The Lord has taken pre-eminence over our situation."
Benitoe said the fast and prayer will be concluded on Friday with prayers and communion services across the country.