Some members of the clergy have called on Ghanaians to use the Easter festivities to reflect on the challenges militating against the country’s development and work in concert with the government, state institutions and religious and civil society organisations to find solutions to them.
They mentioned some of the challenges as excessive partisanship, pessimism and corruption that were hindering national development, peaceful co-existence and cohesion.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in separate interviews in Accra yesterday, they said as the country joined the rest of the world to celebrate the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the citizenry should remember that Christ died with the world’s sin, thereby demonstrating the unconditional love of God.
The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC), the Most Rev. Philip Naameh, observed that the national interest should supersede partisan and all other considerations on issues bordering on the sovereignty of Ghana.
While commending the government for making public the Ghana-US defence cooperation agreement public, he said the time was too short for serious public discourse on the agreement before it could be ratified by Parliament.
Commenting on the agreement as part of his Easter message, the Most Rev. Naameh, who is also the Archbishop of Tamale, said Parliament could have done a better job than the partisan disagreements on the deal which they were privy to.
“We must take decisions responsibly. We must sign agreements when the provisions inure to the benefit of the state. The other party in the agreement should not dictate the terms to us,” he stated.
Just as the message of Easter, he said, selflessness must be the focus of the national fabric.
“The more we die to greed and selfishness, the better we make the world,” he stated.
The Most Rev. Naameh explained that from the home to the workplace and society at large, Ghanaians must seek to make other people happy, instead of exploiting them.
He said Christians must imitate Christ in humility and service, through which salvation and happiness could be derived.
“The more we give to others, the more God will grant us our needs,” he added.
According to him, suffering was part of human life, for which reason Christians must not run away from the challenges of life.
The acting Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Dr Victor Okoe Abbey, took on the issue of corruption.
“As we celebrate Easter, other important issues that we gloss over are the high levels of corruption, indiscipline and low moral values in society.
“What makes the situation worrying is the fact that about 70 per cent of the country’s population and majority of its leaders are Christians.
“This suggests that either there are no Christians in the country or they are simply not living up to the true principles and values of their faith,” he said.
Rev. Dr Abbey, therefore, called on every Ghanaian to make selfless sacrifices in the pursuit of his or her individual needs in the interest of national development.
He also urged the populace to learn from God, who sacrificed His own Son to bring redemption and salvation to the world, and do likewise to save the nation from its current economic condition.
“As a nation, we must all stand up together to wrestle the forces that militate against us and allow the peace which Easter brings to work in our lives.
“I am, therefore, appealing to the leadership of all the political parties to impress upon their followers to be circumspect in their utterances in order not to inflame passions. I also call on the Christian community to pray for peace for the country at all times. Let us all rally behind the government to bring the needed change to Ghana,” he added.
Jesus Generation Ministries
The Superintendent Bishop of the Jesus Generation Ministries, Rev. Nana Anyani-Boadum, observed that the message of Easter was that of hope and reconciliation.
“As a nation, we should cast away pessimism as a result of the challenges confronting us and rather be awakened by the message of the death and resurrection of Christ,” he said.
Quoting Matthew 28:5-6, he said death could not overcome Jesus, adding: “Jesus’ resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, Christianity is a hoax.
“But His crucifixion at Calvary and His bodily resurrection are the best-attested incontrovertible facts in human history. Our unease to death suggests the power of death over God’s creation.
“But Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope that one can sink so low and still bounce back. As a nation, we have sunk so low over the years, but we should not despair. We should let the Easter message of hope spur us on to greater heights.
“We experienced our worst economic meltdown in 1982-1983 but we have since bounced back,” Rev. Anyani-Boadum said.
Global Evangelical Church
The Head Pastor of the Trinity Parish of the Global Evangelical Church, Rev. S.D.K. Dumevi, said the world’s problem today was a product of sin which Christ died for.
He said Christ, with His death for mankind, conquered death and, therefore, Easter was about how Christ dealt with sin.
In recognition of Christ’s sacrifice today, he said, Christians should be able to be at peace with everyone and support one another, irrespective of political affiliations and other differences, to develop the country.
“If we understand this, people who propose different ideologies should not be our enemies,” he said.
He said it was unfortunate that in the light of Christ’s sacrifice, people still saw one another as enemies, pulled others down and did not see any good in them.
He, however, said God loved the sinner and paid the ultimate price through Christ, hence the need for Ghanaians to treat one another with kindness, not with the acrimony that characterised issues of national importance.
Full Gospel Church International (FGCI)
For his part, the President of the Full Gospel Church International (FGCI), Bishop Samuel N. Mensah, urged Ghanaians to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who gave Himself to the world as Christians celebrated Easter.
“It is because of Jesus’ sacrifice that today the whole world has reason to mark Easter. In the same way, we, as Ghanaians, need to reflect on what we can offer our country and, indeed, become good citizens by giving our best.
“If we do good deeds for our country, we will be remembered and celebrated, just as Jesus is celebrated every year all over the world. But if we do bad deeds, we will only be remembered for the pain we caused the country and we may also dearly pay for them,” he said.
Bishop Mensah admonished Ghanaians to put away all negative tendencies that only retarded the progress of the country.
He said there was also the need for leaders of all strata of society, especially political leaders, to take decisions in the supreme interest of the nation and on whose behalf they held that office of trust, “just as our Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross in the interest of humanity.”