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Opinions of Monday, 17 May 2021

Columnist: Dominic Aboagye

Where did the Church of Pentecost go wrong?

The Ejura Camp Prison was donated by the Church of Pentecost to the Ghana Prisons Service The Ejura Camp Prison was donated by the Church of Pentecost to the Ghana Prisons Service

Impacting society through philanthropic activities is one of the greatest gift humanity can give to each other. This act is common in both religious and non-religious societies, rich and poor among several others.

It has become a norm, mostly among rich/developed countries, billionaires and other highly important individuals or organisations to support less privileged countries or individuals. The onset of COVID-19 clearly depicts how far humanity has moved in the act of caring for each other.

In most developing countries, many people go through a lot of hardship and unfairness, especially in the Judicial system. People are imprisoned for acts which could have received other forms of punishments if it happened in a developed world and in some cases several innocent people are sentenced.

Anas Aremeyaw Anas, a renowned journalist in Ghana some few years ago exposed some High Court judges who took bribes and indulged in diverse corruptive acts. The findings of this journalist led to the dismissal of these Judges, though the consequences of what they have been doing for years which could have landed several innocent people in Jail remain uninvestigated.

Several reports and documentaries show that prisons in Ghana remain a hell on earth. This is not to say the prisons have not received any support but the attention given to Prisoners is not enough. Some prisons exist where prisoners have no sleeping spaces, humans are stacked with some prisoners even standing 24hours in prisons in Ghana. Health wise, the prisons could be a breeding ground for several diseases for inmates.

In an attempt to help curb this plight in the life of Prisoners, the Church of Pentecost has built a fully furnished facility which has three dormitory blocks with the capacity to accommodate 300 inmates at Ejura in the Ashanti Region.

However, the Church has since been lashed by most Ghanaians on almost all social media platforms because they expect the church to prioritise unemployment and the building of schools. We live in a society where several youth praises one-man churches for gifting celebrities who lack nothing with expensive cars.

Don't we also see this lashing of the leadership of the Church of Pentecost as an injustice to our prisoners? Don't they deserve such treatment from the Church? I am not against the Church supporting education creating jobs to curb unemployment.

Let's be real, just imagine being sentenced to prison without committing a crime and staying unemployed, which could impose more psychological impact.

The best way to take away this problem of poor prison infrastructure/treatment is to consider that some inmates are innocent of the crimes leading to their conviction.

Personally, I weigh the lashing of the church at the same level as the act of racism that the world is finding so hard to curb.

Let all people and organisations come together to support this act of kindness. Social intervention remains the key to the growth of this country since we have been asked to fix ourselves.

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