Feature Article of Saturday, 15 September 2012

Columnist: Kudesey, Thykingdom

The Clergy Must Talk !!

…on Social Scandals Too

By Thykingdom Kudesey/The Republic

The scale of social deterioration among the youth in Ghana has reached an alarming rate and requires urgent attention from all and sundry; but so are the Churches growing in their numbers; and yet, the clergy appears to be silent and unhelpful.

Today, it is common to see a whole week of Church Services in Ghana dedicated to p reaching about ‘giving’ yet the very society that keeps the Church of God running is collapsing before the very eyes of the clergy who are the custodians of the faith.

Government and the Media have always been at the receiving end of criticism as far as matters of politics and irregularities in the social life of the nation are concerned.

Yet some of these irregularities that ought to be addressed by highly influential organizations such as the Christian Council of Ghana and other religious groups have been given little or no attention.

Notably, The Christian Council, over the last few years, has been active in condemning unsavory and inciting comments made by political figures, calling for peace in Election years and interfering in matters relating to the creation of new constituencies which, very obviously, fall under the umbrella of politics.

As their interventions in any these matters are acknowledged and appreciated, the Christian Council [on a rather high scale] seems to be intoxicated with matters of politics instead of investing in campaigns to arrest social vices that have overtaken the lives of many Ghanaians.

The scary revelation of records on abortions conducted under legal obligation by medical experts in 20011 is mindbogggling. According to records put out by the Adolescent Health Development Program of the Ministry of Health, over 16,000 women (girls) went through legal abortions in Ghana between January and December 2011.

The statistics shows that an alarming 582 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 went through the process of abortion, representing 3.6 percent of the total figure. The records state that the year’s record was much higher than the 331 and 216 recorded in 2010 and 2009 respectively for the same year group.

Moreover, 8,382 teenagers between the ages of 15-19 went through the procedure in 2011, representing 48.7 percent of the total number; a rise compared to the 2010 (6,670) and 2009 (5,525) figures. 8,382 adults above 20 years aborted fetuses between the same periods.

As if that was not enough, the Ghana Health Service also says the figure only represents a third of the total number of abortions that women underwent in the country within the period. The Service further revealed that unsafe abortions constitute 15 percent of maternal mortality (the second leading cause of maternal mortality in Ghana).

The rather shocking revelation is that, quite a large number of these abortion victims attend churches that are under the purview of the Christian Council of Ghana.

The mushrooming spread of brothels and commercial sex workers across the ten regions of Ghana that results in complications and contraction of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) has been given less or no attention despite numerous media reports and life-threatening undercover investigations carried out by journalists to bring them to light.

It is again disgusting to see society accepting the weird culture of having sex in cars. It is common to spot some “hostel girls” been “sexed” in private vehicles on the path that leads to the American Embassy in Accra as well as the road that joins the Ghana Free Zone Board Street around 11:00 pm.

The sequential suicide cases and high rates of accidents, as a result of reckless driving, that have been recorded this year are also matters of grave concern to the nation which an influential body like the Christian Council and other religious organizations can help contain through the various churches.

Without intense education through our Churches and Mosques to stimulate a character change, Ghana’s horrible sanitation canker cannot be curtailed even with a million waste management companies coming together. It is however not common to see our religious bodies coming out to campaign excessively for a clean Ghana in order to curb epidemics and pandemics.

The issue of child trafficking, drug trafficking and its abuse is on the rise and is as damaging as a civil war with the only distinction being “Harsh Murder and Slow Murder” respectively.

It has become an accepted norm in Ghana that, once you reveal the bad side of the so called “Man of God”, then you qualify to be called a devil incarnate with the demons of darkness waiting to lead your chariot into the lake of fire after you pass on.

Many are the social issues out there that need immediate addressing by our religious bodies and civil society groups just as equal as their concerns of who wins political power and the country’s peace at large.