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General News of Saturday, 1 June 2019


Regulating activities of churches good - Rev Asante

A former presiding Bishop of Methodist Church Ghana, Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante has supported the call for ”some form of regulation” of churches.

Speaking in an interview with Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm he said there was the need maintain discipline and sanity.

He has however suggested to the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs to invite the various Christian organizations including the Christian Council, Pentecostal Council and all the other groups to a stakeholders meeting where the groups would deliberate on the issue.

‘’The ministry should invite the groups so we dialogue on the issue. This meeting would afford stakeholders to formulate ideas which would later be presented in parliament by the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Ministry for consideration,’’ he added.

He said the various groups have code of ethics that guide members and leaders of the various churches under them unlike the churches owned by inndividuals.

Prof. Asante said all churches in Ghana should be made to join the existing groups in order to have them abide by the code of ethics used by these groups.

The move he explained would ensure sanity, discipline and members that violate these code of ethics should be punished.

‘’We need some form of regulation to ensure that the work of God is done in a manner that glorifies him. We need to train people in a professional manner. Even when you a gift you would need mentoring to ensure you discharge your work in a holistic manner.’’

To him, the major problem we are faced with is the activities of individuals who are running the ‘one man church’. No council does regulate activities of such churches. This is terrible since these churches do not have constitutions guiding them. So I think some form of regulation is good.’’

He bemoaned how prophets were destroying families with their doomsday prophecies where the tag mothers and relatives of church members as witches.

He was also worried at the tendency by people who go to church from Monday to Sundays all in the name of prophecies without any productive life.

He was reacting to calls by some members of parliament for a law to be formulated to regulate activities of men of God.

Parliament will within the next month, investigate, and prescribe regulations on church activities in Ghana.

This follows a directive from the Speaker, Rev Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye, to the joint committees of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, after the House on Wednesday discussed the proliferation of churches at the expense of human rights and the use of working hours for church activities.

The Speaker said the joint Committee must report back to the House in a month.

“Honourable members, we live in a state, where we all know that priests keep people in camps to heal them and when they get worse, they rush them to health facilities, yet the people cannot be held accountable for malpractices, what kind of unbridled liberty can that be?