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General News Sat, 26 Dec 1998

Archbishop Okine urges Christians to have respect for life

Koforidua, Dec 25 The Most Reverend Robert G. A. Okine, Anglican Archbishop of the Province of West Africa, today called on Christians to have respect for life. He observed that if the good news and great joy of Christmas would have meaning to all, then those who indulge in indiscriminate abortions must desist from "such murderous" behaviour because nobody has the right to take away human life. Archbishop Okine was preaching at a Christmas mass at the Saint Peter's Anglican Cathedral in Koforidua. He urged those who take delight in producing children "for the fun of it" to ensure that adequate provisions are made for their proper care and maintenance. "These new human beings who are brought into the world daily, if they are properly cared for, properly educated, loved and appreciated, could accomplish miracles as did the baby Jesus," Archbishop Okine observed. Preaching at the St George's Cathedral, the Catholic Bishop of Koforidua, The Right Reverend Charles Palmer-Buckle, called on leaders and peoples of all faiths to resort to prayer in seeking peace on earth. Bishop Palmer-Buckle observed that without prayer, no human efforts, either through persuasion or force, could bring the peace mankind eagerly requires. He referred to efforts, including the recent bombing of Iraq by the United States and Britain, to achieve peace in the Middle East as well as in other conflict areas in Africa and the Balkans, and stressed that the time has come when families, communities, religious groups and nations must seek peace only through prayer for God's direction. He regretted that about 2,000 years after the birth of Jesus, there was still no peace between Jews and Muslims in Palestine, His birthplace, and urged the Jewish Christians and Muslims as well as followers of traditional religions to seek world peace through prayer., At the Our Lady of Annunciation Catholic Cathedral at Tamale, Reverend Father Emmanuel Wedjong, Cathedral Administrator, urged Christians to give meaning to the message of Christmas by renewing their lives to reflect the teachings of Christ. "The evil and darkness engulfing the world today is a multiplication of the evil in our individual lives. Hence, if Christians endeavour to reduce the evil in their lives by adhering to the teaching of the Bible, they would be making the world a happier and more secure place to live in". Rev Fr Wedjong said Christians are called to overcome evil with goodness and the best place to begin this mission is with their own lives. He said the Christmas message which centres around peace and reconciliation with God through the incarnation have given special and unique message to humanity that God is a loving father who is deeply interested in all his children and dwells amongst them in the person of Jesus. He said the message of the angels to the shepherds about "the Good News of great joy" characteristics of Christmas is to be shared by the whole world. Rev Fr Wedjong praised Dr David Abdulia, founder of the Shekina Clinic which caters for lunatics and destitutes, for his good work, saying it is refreshing that in spite of the evil prevalent in society today, there are still men whose sole purpose in life is to serve God and man. At the Bishop Aglionby Anglican Cathedral, Rev Father Dennis Tong, Parish priest, also asked Ghanaians to be Guided by the Christmas message of Peace and love.

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