Manage religious pluralism to promote peace - Rev Asante

BY: Doreen Andoh
Prof. Rev. Emmanuel Asante
Prof. Rev. Emmanuel Asante

The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, has underscored the need to manage religious pluralism effectively in order to promote peace and security in Ghana.

He said, irrespective of the beneficial role religion played in the management of conflicts, particularly, violent conflicts in a nation to enhance peace and security, it could also become a source of violent conflicts and national insecurity if religious pluralism was not managed effectively.

He noted that religion could incite national insecurity if adherents of the types of religion looked down on adherents of other religions in the context of media pluralism.

“Yet, a carefully managed religious pluralism or diversity is very crucial to national peace building and to the growth of socioequilibrium and identity of society,” he said

He, therefore, appealed to all adherents of religious faiths to peacefully co-exist by respecting one another’s beliefs and rights to enhance the peace and tranquillity the country was currently enjoying, particularly before, during and after the general election.

Memorial Lecture

Prof. Asante made the remarks in a lecture he delivered on the topic, “reflections from the past, the present and the future: the role of Christians in peace building in Ghana,” in Accra last Saturday.

The lecture was organised by the Association of Methodist Men’s Fellowships to honour its founder fathers, namely Rt Rev. Thomas Wallace Koomson, Rev. Joseph Kwao Clegg and Brother David T. Ackah.

The lecture, which will be in series,  has been dubbed Koomson/Ackah/Enchia Memorial Lectures.

Prof. Asante said conflicts, which normally resulted from different aspects of society; including religious conflicts, were inevitable,describing it as a necessary component for the development of society.

He was,however, quick to add that conflicts had the potential of becoming problematic and disturbing national tranquillity when they culminated in violence.

Role of religion 

Prof. Asante said based on these statistics, the role of religion in peace building could not be underestimated.

He said religious bodies had a social responsibility to serve as watchdogs over the public interest given that the moral authority of the Judiciary could be compromised or sullied by corruption, the lack of probity and official interface or intimidation by the executive arm of government.

“Here we are talking about the prophetic role of the religious bodies in the maintenance of justice, peace and development,” he said.

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