Regional News Mon, 15 Mar 2004

Government urged to set up Commission for Religious Affairs

Kumasi, March 15, GNA - A proposal has been made to the government to consider the setting up of a commission or an umbrella body with the sole responsibility of overseeing and monitoring the activities of religious bodies, especially churches in the country.

Reverend Joseph Gyimah, Founder of the True Light of Christ Church, said even though bodies like the Catholic Secretariat, the Christian Council of Ghana and the Pentecostal Council were in existence, their authority is limited only to their members.

Rev. Gyimah made the proposal at a forum held by the youth fellowship of the Church at Abrepo in Kumasi on Sunday.

"Many churches are entirely independent of these bodies and do not account to any of these bodies, but to themselves", he added. Rev. Gyimah said the proposed Commission should have the mandate to supervise and control activities of all churches and also formulate policies to sanitise the conduct of religious activities.

He noted that because of the absence of such an umbrella body or commission, some churches "seem to be conducting themselves in a manner that is casting a slur on the principles and teachings of the Christian faith".

"The mission of churches is to bring salvation to mankind and help instil moral discipline in society, but these are virtually being undermined by some churches, since there is no central control mechanism to either bring them to order or sanction them when they faulted", he stressed.

Rev. Gyimah cited the building of chapels in residential areas and the associated noise making, saying the situation do not augur well for Christianity and development of the country.

Source: GNA