Adventist Youth Tells Story on Radio
UNICEF boosts Sabbathkeeping teen’s religious freedom

reporting from Monrovia, Liberia
HEN EMMANUEL MULBAH, 18, moved in with his uncle several years ago, they became very close. Emmanuel worked in his uncle’s shop and would run it whenever his uncle was away.

Recently, however, their relationship has been strained by Emmanuel’s decision to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Liberia. Emmanuel’s uncle says his nephew should stay a Lutheran—the religion in which he was raised—and ordered him not to attend Adventist services.

“My uncle says ‘our forefathers, our parents have been in that church; they grew up in that church; they died in 
that church,’ and he says we should also imitate them,” Emmanuel says. “I want my uncle to understand that everyone has the right to freedom of religion.”

HAPPY TEEN: Emmanuel Mulbah, an 18-year-old Seventh-day Adventist from Liberia, recorded his story of faith for radio broadcast with the help of UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, which advocates for children’s rights.
In August 2009 Emmanuel was one of the participants in a weeklong radio production workshop for seven young people from Liberia. UNICEF Radio—
in partnership with UNICEF’s Back 
on Track program on education in emergencies and postcrisis transition, the UNICEF Liberia program, and Talking Drum Studios—conducted the workshop with three boys and four girls chosen from around the country.

The young people learned how to record, edit, write, and produce a radio story of their own.

Emmanuel’s story took him to a Lutheran church and a Seventh-day Adventist church in Monrovia to discuss the two Christian churches’ different beliefs about the Sabbath day.

After meeting with the Lutheran pastor, Emmanuel said he felt liberated by the pastor’s words: “Hold strong 
to your faith, and it’s not so much the day that matters, but what you do on that day.”

Now, despite his uncle’s hesitations, Emmanuel is thinking about becoming an Adventist Church pastor.

UNICEF’s Liberia program will broadcast all of the youths’ stories to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC grants children the right to freedom of thought and religion, among other rights.

This was the second in a series 
of workshops conducted by UNICEF Radio and the Back on Track program. The aim is to bring young people’s 
perspectives into the debate around education in emergencies and postcrisis situations—and to commemorate the CRC. 

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