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General News Fri, 31 May 2019

'Definitely needed,' Martin Kpebu backs regulation of churches

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“Shout Amen!” And for about 60 seconds, sometimes more, the response continues unabated; “Amen, Amen Amen.”

All this happens in the dead of the night while tenants and house owners close by struggle to catch a few hours of sleep after a hard day’s work.

If they are lucky, it is a one-night affair, otherwise, it would continue for days, weeks or even months.

It is not always fun for the participants.

Many of them have complained that the people they go to for spiritual remedy to their ailments or some breakthrough subject them to degrading treatment.

These and other complains have been registered against churches and “Men of God” in recent times.

To end this, some Members of Parliament have asked for legislation to regulate the affairs of churches.

This may seem very tricky since religion runs through the veins of most Ghanaians.

Already, the idea has been taken with a pinch of salt by some MPs.

Ningo Prampram Parliamentarian Sam George, for instance, cautioned the House to tread cautiously since Freedom of Worship is guaranteed in Articles 21 and 26 of the 1992 Constitution.

But speaking to Ghanaians on the streets of Accra, there is some unanimity that some churches are becoming a nuisance lately and must be regulated.

The Speaker of Parliament has meanwhile, referred the matter to the relevant committees for deliberations and a report made to the House in a month.

From his legal perspective, Martin Kpebu has told Joy News that regulation on the activities of churches is “definitely needed” and won’t be a violation of the right to freedom of religion.

He told Mamavi Owusu Aboagye on the AM Show on Friday that he hopes parliament would pass the law soon.

According to Kpebu, the new law should codify the already existing rules.

He said there is no need for people to be subjected to undignifying treatment just because they go to a pastor for healing.

Although people have the right to worship, that should not infringe on others’ right to peace and quiet, the lawyer explained.

He said the new law should set up an adequately-funded body which will enforce the law and ensure all churches and other religious establishments conduct themselves well.

Churches, for instance, he argued, should have sound-proof systems to avoid disturbing residents living around them.

Watch his full interview below:

Source: Myjoyonline.com