Prominent Ghanaian Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams has backtracked on his controversial statements regarding Islam, apologizing to the Muslim community worldwide and pleading for their forgiveness 'in the name of Allah'.
The self-declared 'father of charismatic Christianity' in West Africa and disciple of Benson Idahosa had made some damning statements on Islam in an undated sermon posted to social media, provoking anger within the Ghanaian Muslim community.
"Muslims are not just praying; they are invoking all kinds of entities," the fiery preacher declared on a clip which was posted to YouTube.
"They are dealing with all kinds of forces in Pleiades, in Orion, in Arcturus, in Mazzaroth – the Zodiacs, the powers of the underworld, the water kingdom. They are not just praying; they are dealing with white magic, black magic – different levels and dimensions of witchcraft – for total takeover of the world and of our nation," the cleric, who is a close friend to famous American Bishop T.D. Jakes, brazenly told congregants.
The Coalition of Muslim Organisations in Ghana (COMOG) were quick to condemn the sermon, describing it as "a bundle of reprehensible fallacies and a vicious misrepresentation of Islamic practice of prayers and worship."
However, it was an entirely different tone when Duncan-Williams met with some Ghanaian imams, some of whom had challenged him to a debate in lieu of his contentious message.
"I want to apologise to you and to all the Muslim community; I never intended to offend or disrespect your faith," the Archbishop stated in another clip posted to YouTube. "I deeply regret what has happened. I see it as a misunderstanding; it will not happen again."
He went further to commend Islam, adding that he often used Muslims as positive examples in his sermons and stressing Christians were to emulate them.
"I use your faith and religion a lot in my preaching as an example of how Christians should follow your discipline, your commitment, your consistency, your spirituality – it's something that I admire. It's very unfortunate that it has happened this way."
Duncan-Williams then begged for 'forgiveness' from the Muslims, promising to vigorously study the Koran.
"In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Gracious One, I ask for your forgiveness and trust that this will not happen again. Hereafter, we will meet at a better level. When I have finished studying my Koran, I will meet you," he declared.
The archbishop's swift change of mind has elicited different reactions. Ahmed, a Muslim who posted a video comparing Duncan-Williams' two opposing statements, suggested his sudden reversal of opinion was akin to hypocrisy.
"Here is a big bishop who has come out to deny what he said to his congregation on TV worldwide," the Muslim student angrily wrote in the description of the YouTube clip he uploaded.
"Let me ask this question - are you saying sorry because of the threats you received? Why is it that when trouble or controversy comes, you are quick to abandon your faith," Ahmed questioned, adding that Muslims are ready to stand for their faith no matter the cost.
Ahmed went further to warn Ghanaian President John Mahama of his relationship with Duncan Williams. "Even our President Mahama used to go to him; he should know that his counselor is a liar," he said, adding that his admission shows God is not the inspiration behind his sermons.
Duncan-Williams is the presiding General Overseer of Ghana's largest charismatic church, Action Chapel International (ACI), and the President of the National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches (NACCC) in Ghana.
He is the owner of Dominion TV and boasts a large following on social media, with almost 800,000 Facebook followers.
He has preached regularly on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and brought several prominent American ministers to his church in Ghana, including T.D. Jakes, Paula White, Donnie Mclurkin and Vashawn Mitchell.
Jojo Kwebena is a Ghanaian writer
SEE THE VIDEO YOURSELF HERE - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdaxrS7MzXo