The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana has appealed to pastors and church leaders to spread the message of peace and harmony as the country heads to the December 7 general election.
Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong said religious leaders should use their positions and influence in society to champion the crusade for peaceful election.
He urged the religious leaders to educate their members that politics was about choices and development and not about violence and mayhem.
At an inter-faith youth dialogue meeting in Wa in the Upper West Region, Dr Opuni-Frimpong said politicians and their followers were always part of Christian and Islamic congregations who looked up to their leaders for counsel and inspiration.
“Those who are into politics are not strangers to us; they are not outsiders,” he said.
“The President and his vice, ministers of state, parliamentarians, party executives and foot soldiers are all members of our churches and mosques, so we cannot behave as though they are some strangers in our midst,” he stressed.
The inter-faith dialogue meeting is the product of an initiative by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) to sensitise society to the need for peace in the run-up to the December 7, general election.
It has the Christian Council and the office of the National Chief Imam spearheading the campaign to preach peace to members of society.
The Wa event was attended by members of the clergy, youth leaders in churches, political party representatives, Muslim leaders and traditional rulers.
Politics is not dirty
According to Dr Opuni-Frimpong, “politics is not dirty, politics is clean. It is only when dirty people get into politics that it becomes dirty”.
He argued that politicians were worshippers at churches and mosques before becoming politicians, and said they could, therefore, not become dirty overnight.
He said politicians were related to members of the congregations at churches, mosques and should, therefore, be embraced as normal members of society.
“How can we distance ourselves from party faithful and treat them as trouble causers? They are not. It is only when we distance ourselves from them that they become a danger to society,” he said.
“Churches and mosques benefit from politicians so the churches and mosques should not distance themselves from politicians,” he stressed.
He said politicians were still useful members of their religious congregations who contributed to offerings and tithes, development funds and other projects to the growth of their respective churches and mosques.