The Ghana Charismatic Bishops Conference has kicked against a call to legislate churches in the country.
“We, the Ghana Charismatic Bishops Conference, will like to state that we do not support any idea of legislating or controlling beliefs, faiths or religious beliefs of our citizens,” a communique issued in Accra and signed by its General Secretary, Rev. Kwasi Deh, stated.
It said “the government cannot legislate to regulate a person’s Christian belief.
It would be a glaring bias against the Christian faith and Christian churches, for pastors, prophets or churches to be picked out for any such legislation.
“All who propose such things must know that it would only be logical that such proposals should immediately include legislating how all other faiths in the country must be practised.
This legislation would logically extend to include how Muslims, traditional healers, fetish priests and any other faiths are practised in the country,” the communique continued.
According to the Charismatic Bishops Conference, Ghanaians should be allowed and encouraged to use their good judgement when they patronise churches and prophets.
According to the communique, it was important to note that Ghanaians patronised churches and prophets for solutions to the myriad of problems in the country.
It said “the problems Ghanaians live with are in many cases not being solved in any practical manner by the authorities.
When people are left with no hope, they turn to their prophets and to their God for salvation for what should and could have been solved by national authorities.”
It said PNDC Law 221 was promulgated to such ends with a mind to regulate the proliferation of churches.
Under the PNDC law 221 every church was to produce a list of 500 members otherwise it would not be allowed to operate because it was considered too small to be genuine.
“Such a law (which did not succeed) against the church would have wiped out all the known charismatic churches which were just beginning at that time.
Indeed, churches which are prominent in Christianity in Ghana today were threatened by such ill-placed legislation,” the communique pointed out.
The communique also encouraged Parliament to have a look at roads in the country, drainage and education.
It also challenged the government to provide resources to complete hospitals that had not been utilised to promote quality health care.
It further urged Parliament to help find solution to uncompleted housing projects in the country.
“There are also serious concerns about the spread of slums in Accra and huge rubbish dumps in the city.
“Laws to regulate the spread of these slums in the city” must be considered.
“Indeed, any attempt to regulate or determine who and what is acceptable in Christianity or in the church would be considered as a declaration of hostilities between the Church of God in Ghana and the government of Ghana.
This we don’t think would be helpful for our beloved nation,” the communique added.
The Ghana Charismatic Bishops Conference is made up of seasoned senior clergy, men and women in the ministry of Jesus Christ who have been consecrated as bishops. These men and women have over the years accomplished much in leadership, people handling skills among other practical achievements.
It was founded by Bishop Dag Heward Mills, whose ministry now comprises over 3,000 churches across the world.
It is chaired by Bishop Kwame Yirenkyi Ampofo, with Rev. Kwasi Deh, as its General Secretary.
The conference has presence in every region of Ghana.