General News of Monday, 19 November 2012

Source: Christian Ministers

Statement: Stop insults on Otabil - Christian ministers

We have noted, with deep concern, recent developments on the media landscape, particularly relating to the use of Pastor Mensa Otabil’s voice for political advertising.

As Christian leaders and Ministers in the land, we wish to submit the following:

Throughout the history of this country, the Church and State have successfully coexisted in a relationship based on mutual cooperation and respect.

The Church has undoubtedly been the most significant partner of the State in the delivery of education, health and other social amenities and interventions.

Successive governments, since independence, have shown respect to the institution of the Church and its leaders. The Church, on its part, has never ceased to pray for God’s blessings on the nation and its leaders.

As pastors and spiritual leaders, we oversee members at the very highest levels of leadership from all sides of the political divide.

While individuals in churches may have their political leanings, it is imperative that we all strive to preserve the neutrality of the Church from partisan politics. This is to enable the revered institution to continue serving as a neutral arbiter in times of crisis.

It is for this and other reasons that we find it appropriate for all to heed Pastor Mensa Otabil’s request for exemption from partisan political advertisement.

Since the press conference by Pastor Otabil last Monday, the ensuing discourse on various media platforms has largely been in intemperate and uncomplimentary language.

Moreover, media advertisements with Pastor Otabil’s voice have continued playing on various networks, suggesting that he is involved in partisan political debates.

We call on the ‘Education Watch’ and all other sponsoring agencies and media houses to withdraw all forms of political adverts with Pastor Otabil’s voice with immediate effect.

We further call for an immediate cessation of the unwarranted insults of Pastor Otabil.

We wish to remind the entire populace of the important role of the Church and religious institutions in societal cohesion.

The pursuit of political office should not make us lose sight of the importance of timeless institutions that provide the support for our mutual coexistence and development.