Beware, Men of God.

The introduction of religions from Europe and the Middle East, namely Christianity and Islam, to then Gold Coast (present day Ghana) did not change the relationship among the people of the country. Moslems, Christians and traditionalists co-existed peaceably. In particular, Moslems and Christians have lived side by side with each other without rancor. The dynamics changed with the entry into the fray by so-called charismatic churches that were mostly owned by individuals whose concern was more about the pockets of their adherents than about their souls.

A leaked video clip – now taken down and off public view – supposedly from a Christian organization paints a very disturbing view of religious intolerance that is gradually, yet systematically creeping into Ghana. The speaker in that video clip was responding to the Wesley Girls Senior High School brouhaha where Muslim students were forbidden to fast for the just-ended Eid-Ul-Fitr holy month. The policy of the highly rated school has been in existence for years and grown with the school.

In the video diatribe of the speaker; intolerance of Islam, political blackmail against government and attempts to portray Ghana as a Christian nation pales in comparison to attacks on traditional beliefs by some so-called Men of God from one-man charismatic church preachers. It is sad, even dangerous for a Christian leader especially from or for the Methodist sect, to exhibit symptoms of “religious galamsey” that we expected from the mouth-running diarrhea of charlatans masquerading as Men-of-God. Has the Methodist Church morphed into a fanatic Christian organization?

The earth revolves on its axis and the world evolves on practical societal tendencies. Ghana never used to have an Islamic holiday but is currently celebrated as such. Religious evolution is a dynamic process that when it appears must be cautiously handled. Traditional churches in Ghana never used to have band playing ensembles, but they rationalized their standing orders when members started to drift away to band playing and praising churches.

Even though a secular nation with Christian majority, the multi-ethnic, multi-culture and multi-religious country has been a beacon of religious tolerance and freedom of worship and the envy of some of our neighbors.

Ghana cannot and must not encourage or actually allow religious intolerance among the various faiths, especially with the country virtually surrounded by neighbors where Islamic fanaticism and zealotry abound. Religious radicalism has no place in a relatively peaceful country such as Ghana. The traditional Methodist Church of Ghana and other such Churches have lived in peace with other believers for decades and must continue to live among the huge shielding umbrella as one of several children of God. After all it was Charles Wesley of the Wesley family, who, penned one of the most popular Christian hymns “Amazing Love!” How can it be if we, as children of God become intolerant of one another?

Amandla believes it’s about time stakeholders in tertiary schools and institutions funded and financed by tax payers’ money revamped the decades-old outdated rules and regulations for our institutions. Some of the colonial era policies in mission schools may not be applicable in contemporary Ghana. After all, there is not much difference between school going believers in Christ who practice Lent and Islamic faith believers who practice Eid-Ul-Fitr.

Currently pending in the courts is a case of some students admitted to the Achimota Senior High School who were denied admission for wearing dreadlocks. The school contends it is against its policy. Dreadlocks, an offshoot from the Akan mpese mpese (in ancient Egyptian typology mpese mpese meant the “reappearing one”) hair style is a century-old religious practice that was frowned on and prohibited by Europeans as paganism. Ghana’s iconic musicologist Ephraim Amu was also chased away by the Presbyterian (Basel Mission) Church for donning kente cloth to a Sunday Church service. Interestingly, people of the Christian faith, (including white Christian Ministers) and college graduation ceremonies now utilize kente stoles in their garbs and apparels to celebrate important occasions.

While at it, Amandla would like to commend government for increasing the size of military personnel in the fight against illegal mining. However, we would rather the military pitch camps in the prohibited forests and water bodies where the illegalities are practices till the last culprit and their equipment are removed and trashed out and away. Had Ghana adhered to its traditional religious beliefs, NO ONE -politicians, chiefs, Chinese – would have dared to desecrate even a standing pond, let alone a sacred flowing river that was crucial to sustaining life.  

Posted by on May 15 2021. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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