Interpret ban on noise making for harmony
The Global Evangelical Church (GEC) has called for the proper and legal interpretations of the annual ban on drumming and noise making imposed by the Ga Traditional Council (GTC) during the “Homowo” festival.
It said that would not only prevent potential conflicts between the GTC and other religious communities, but also reinforce the principles of religious freedom and peaceful coexistence which underpinned the nation's ethos.
The Moderator of the GEC, Rt Rev. Prosper Samuel Dzomeku, who made the appeal, said it had come to the church’s attention that the practice sometimes led to conflicting interpretations and inconveniences among different religious communities which could potentially disrupt the nation’s harmony.
“By seeking clarity and consensus on this matter, we can work together to ensure that the ban is observed in a manner that respects the rights and practices of all stakeholders,” he stressed.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the GEC 2023 Synod held in Accra last Friday.
The Synod is the highest decision making body of the church made up of delegates from the 14 presbyteries in Ghana, one presbytery in Togo and international branches of the church.
Their mandate is to decide on various issues affecting the church including doctrine, administration and, most especially, the decline in membership.
This year’s synod is on the theme: “Be Holy In All You Do (1 Peter 1:14-16).”
Some dignitaries present included the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, who is a member of the church; the Minister of Chieftaincy And Religious Affairs, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, and representatives of sister churches, other denominations and para-church organisations.
Rev. Dzomeku stressed that through open dialogue and collaboration, all parties could arrive at a solution that stroke a balance between preserving cultural heritage and upholding the rights and practices of all religious groups.
“We respect and honour the rich cultural traditions of our nation so we believe your leadership and wisdom are instrumental in guiding us toward a resolution that respects the traditions of our past while embracing the diversity of our present,” the Christian cleric added.
The Moderator also touched on other socially relevant topics including education, health, illegal mining (galamsey), agriculture, same sex marriage and related matters, economy, good governance, tradition, peace, security and the 2024 general election, among others. He, also, intimated to the government to employ best practices to advance the welfare of all citizens in those respects.
The Senior Presidential Advisor, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, pledged to act as agent and carry their concerns to the President and ensure that all the issues raised were treated with a sense of urgency.
He also lauded the church for the many projects it had embarked on to better the lives of, not only members of the church, but also citizens across the country, promising to lobby the government on its behalf, to ensure that the church achieved greater feats.
The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Dr Cyril Fayose, said the church needed a reawakening of the significance of holiness in the lives of Christians because the centre of gravity for Christianity had moved from the global north to the global south of which Ghana was a pivotal member.
“The colour of Christianity in this century will be determined by the global south so what kind of Christianity are we selling to the world when our churches are filled to capacity, but our way of life is nothing to write home about?” Rev. Fayose stressed.