Religion of 2014-08-12

Ban on handshakes in churches “unnecessary” – Rev. Osei-Bonsu

A former Christian Education Director of the Ghana Baptist Convention, Reverend Dr. Edward Osei-Bonsu, has described as unnecessary, the ban on handshakes and hugs by some churches due to the Ebola outbreak.

Some churches in the capital- Accra, have reportedly directed their members to stop exchanging pleasantries through handshakes and hugs as part of measures aimed at preventing an outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in Ghana.

The disease has, so far, claimed over 950 lives in four West African countries, including, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Ghana has, as yet, not officially recorded a case of the disease, with the Ghana Health Service revealing that all 37 suspected cases tested turned out to be negative.

This has not stopped some churches from banning handshakes, which the WHO says is one way the disease is transmitted, amongst their congregations.

However, Reverend Dr. Osei Bonsu insists that the Baptist Convention will only replicate such a measure if the church suspects a member of having the disease.

“Are they saying we shouldn’t greet each other?

“A greeting is a greeting, either you say good morning to the person or you shake the person’s hand.”

He stated that the church has not given any directive to the congregation to stop handshakes and hugs and does not intend to do so, “unless you have a cause to say that there is somebody amongst you who has Ebola.”

“None of our members have Ebola.

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