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Regional News Sun, 21 Mar 2004

Get involved in registration exercise -Rev Deegbe

Kumasi, March 21, GNA - The Reverend Dr Fred Deegbe, General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, has stressed the need for Christians to register in their numbers since prayers alone will not ensure good governance without their involvement in the electoral process.

"Since Christians constitute about 60 percent of Ghana's population, we stand the risk of being marginalized on many vital national issues if we do not understand and get involved in governance". To this end therefore, Rev Deegbe urged Christians to re-orient their thinking with regards to politics and be open-minded about matters of national interest.

He was speaking on the topic: "Free And Fair Elections -The Role Of The Church" at the fourth Ransford Senavoe Memorial Lectures of the Christian Service College in Kumasi at the weekend.

Rev Deegbe called on church leaders to show commitment and accountability in their stewardship, especially with regard to the church's spiritual growth, financial obligation and efficient leadership.

He cautioned churches to be wary of excessive noise making during their worship, pointing out that the Bible required Christians to be law-abiding citizens.

The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana expressed concern about the recent call on churches by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to pay taxes since church members always pay taxes on their incomes like any other worker.

He therefore asked the IRS to take a second look at the issue since the council will consider any call on the churches to pay tax as additional taxation.

Mr Samuel Yorke-Aidoo, Ashanti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), called on civil society to strive to understand the electoral system in order to ensure fairness and transparency at this year's elections.

Dr Patrick Karikari,the Medical Director at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), paid glowing tribute to the late Ransford Senavoe for founding the Christian Service College which he said had trained many prominent church leaders.

Source: GNA