Religion of Sun, 20 Dec 201529
‘Regulate religious broadcast to sanitise airwaves’
Members of the clergy have backed calls for guidelines to regulate religious broadcast to sanitise the airwaves in the country.
They observed that the current proliferation of radio and television stations coupled with the press freedom the country was enjoying had given room for religious extremism and manipulations.
That situation, the clergy further noted, exposed Ghanaians to fraudulent and dubious pastors and also threatened the prevailing religious harmony in the country.
They made the call at a seminar on religious broadcast in Accra.
The participant discussed guidelines for the regulation of religious broadcast in the country on the theme: “Religious broadcast as a vehicle for peace and national development.”
It was organised by the Religious Broadcast Advisory Council of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and the National Media Commission (NMC) with support from the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA).
The guidelines are expected to help promote religious harmony such as good content and guard against controversial discussions, unfair comments and inflammatory statements.
Public outcry The General Secretary of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Dr Alfred Konduah, said there was public outcry over the spate of manipulation of followers by pastors for selfish gains through the media.
Apostle Dr Konduah, who is also the chairman of the committee on religious broadcast, further indicated that some pastors and prophets used the church as business ventures and took advantage of the vulnerability of the poor to exploit them.
He said while it seemed the government did not want to meddle in religious affairs, some members of the clergy were helpless as they did not have the mandate to sanction such perpetrators of religious fraud.
Religious harmony The Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle, also indicated that, some pastors were abusing the airwaves instead of using it for public good.
The chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, said, religious broadcast could be used to facilitate harmony and development in the country.
Touching on the topic: ‘Religious broadcast as a vehicle for peace and national development’, Most Rev. Prof. Asante said, “effective, fair and balanced religious broadcasting in promoting tolerance for national development cannot be overemphasised.”
Speaking on the dangers of religious extremism and manipulations from the Islamic perspective, Sheik Ameyaw Shaibu said: “Religious extremism in all its diverse manifestations and ramifications is undoubtedly a phenomenon of serious global concern due to the dangers it poses to world peace and security.”
The NMC chairman, Mr Kwasi Gyan-Appenteng, said concerns about some religious broadcasting content in the country needed to be addressed.