Churches declare first National Week of Prayer and Fasting
Accra, Sept. 3, GNA - The Christian Churches of Ghana on Wednesday declared that the first National Week of Prayer and Fasting is scheduled for September 29 to October 4 to seek the intervention of the Lord for a free, fair, transparent and peaceful election.
The prayer week, which is at the instance of President John Agyekum Kufuor is aimed at strengthening the ecumenical bond among the various denominations and promote religious tolerance among the different faith and also enhance the relationship between the state and the church. At a press conference in Accra, the Rev. Fred Deegbe, General Secretary of the Christian Council, called on Christians to wait on the Lord for his will, purpose and intentions of the land to be fulfilled as the country goes to the polls to elect new leaders to govern the nation. With 95 days to the December 7 election, the prayer and fasting week is to encourage and awaken the Christian community of the Biblical injunction to pray without ceasing, particularly in the face of what was happening in conflict sister countries such as Zimbabwe and Kenya. The week-long programme on the theme; "Seek the Peace and Progress of our Nation", would set aside specific days for thanksgiving, intercession for leaders, intercession for all citizens, peaceful election, manifestation of God's glory among others.
He expressed worry about the growing incidence of political party violence nationwide, the growing intolerance among the populace, diminishing confidence in the law enforcing agencies, influencing voters with money and the growing suspicion of the Electoral Commission by political activists as demonstrated in the recent voter registration exercise, saying they were unfortunate.
"We have noted the robust political terrain spearheaded by the youth of various countries. It may be said this is a healthy development in or effort at entrenching democracy. We are therefore encouraging the youth to play a more positive role as we prepare for the polls in December 2008 to ensure a violence-free election," Rev. Deegbe said. "We have a collective responsibility to ensure that the upcoming general election is conducted in a peaceful atmosphere where the electorate can freely exercise their franchise without fear or intimidation and the results will be accepted by all."
Outlining activities for the week, he noted that it would involve daily prayer meetings in all churches nationwide. The local churches would be required to host evening prayers from September 29 to October 4, a special prayer session for ministers of the Gospel at the Calvary Baptist church would be held in Accra while and a national Thanksgiving Service would be held at the Independence Square on October 5 at 1500 hours.
In attendance would be President J.A Kufuor and other senior government officials. Political parties as well as their presidential candidates would be expected to be part of the day's programme. Rev. Deegbe entreated the media to partner with the Christian Churches of Ghana in the crusade to spread the message of peace and appealed to them to be circumspect in their reportage to help prevent any political upheaval and civil strife throughout the electioneering period.
Representatives of the Christian Council of Ghana, the Catholic Bishops' Conference, Ghana Pentecostal Council, National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches and the Council of Independent Churches pledged their commitment to the prayer week for peaceful elections.
Mr Kwabena Wudu, Director of State Protocol, noted that Ghana was a safe haven for peace in the sub-region and every effort should be made to ensure the country continued to maintain that enviable condition. The Rev. Dr. Lawrence Tetteh, an Evangelist, called on the people to forge ahead as a nation with a common destiny to maintain peace. He said: "As a people, we must guard against divisive politics and examine our roles and responsibilities and consider the values that bind us together."