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Opinions of Friday, 14 May 2021

Columnist: E. Kwame Mensah

Do not polarise humanity: reflecting over recent events in Ghana

The author's piece focuses on the importance of tolerance and unity for the growth of the country The author's piece focuses on the importance of tolerance and unity for the growth of the country

As has been noticed by many countrymen, the recent events in Ghana that have the potential to spark off severe religious tensions should be handled with cool heads and mature leadership.

Though they may be clothed with educational wrappers laced in religious tenets that may ignite unhealthy emotional outbursts, they offer an opportunity for a dispassionate discourse that could yield triple dividends for our democracy, national unity and deliverance from religious bigotry.

All who claim to know God, love him and are committed to his service, should always keep in mind that all of humanity is a reflection of various perspectives of divinity. In the Bible, it is written that all men are made in the image of God. More so, we are all made of one blood.

Acts Chapter 17: 26-28

“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

For this reason, it is dangerous to make public statements that seem to polarise humanity.

There are some who may not polarise openly but in the heart of their religion polarisation exists in the form of bigotry, and when they have the chance to become the majority they impose their religious rules and persecute those in the minority.

This is why recent statements that pitch the current Christian majority in Ghana against the current Muslim minority can be dangerous if not redressed immediately and cleverly. God loves Muslims. Christianity does not thrive because it is in the majority; it thrives because it is truth, love and freedom.

When representatives of human institutions that help to regulate Christendom seek to underpin the dominance of the Christian faith upon the sheer physical numbers of professed adherents, it may be a grievous mistake.

What business do we have with threatening a political party with our electoral votes because we think their government in power is not supporting institutional Christianity? Why should we put the faith of Christ, if indeed we are in Christ and not religious politics, unto the arena of the unbridled political selfishness that we all know is now ruining humanity and our country, why? Why must we be so presumptuous to think to rally Christians to pitch one political party against the other in future elections? Do people vote for NDC or NPP because their flagbearer professes to be a Christian?

Don’t we all know that most of our politicians use the religious, ethnic and any other opportunity identity to win our lazy votes? We know politicians are opportunistic. Israel should not support Egypt against Assyria, nor Assyria against Egypt. For both Assyria and Egypt are a far cry from the ways of our God.

As our democracy grows in freedom, justice, unity, and development, we should come to a place where the individual has the capacity to freely choose which religion to belong, upon merit and not coercion; A young person, biologically born into a family of Muslims should not be forced to be a Muslim just because his parents are Muslim.

Same for Christians and all other religions. We all should understand that faith is personal and even private. This is an important aspect of democracy and development. we should not use our religious communities as tools against each other.

As we seek to understand each other more and more, we must come to the point that religion, politics, education, wealth and many of the things we hurt each other for, are perceived means to an end and not an end in itself. Love is the end we seek.

God still loves humanity, in spite of our selfishness and folly; and He is working in providence and grace to draw all men to faith and eternal bliss. Let us not spoil our chances. Eternity beckons.

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