…as most of them are commercial entities
From Samuel Agbewode, Ho
The African Religious Union of the Catholic Church, Ghana (ARUG) has expressed concern over the proliferation of churches in the country, which is gradually undermining Christianity.
According to the union, it was unfortunate that people calling themselves men of God in recent times, imposed such high titles as Bishops, Prophets, Elders and Deacons among others, without understanding the roles such men of God play.
A communiqué issued by ARUG, after a four-day meeting held in Ho recently, pointed out that most of the self-imposed men of God had very low educational backgrounds, and did not understand the Bible, which had resulted in the situation where they interpret the Holy book according to their shallow understanding.
It was disclosed that the number of churches in Ghana was currently 7,897 as at the end of 2010, and most of these churches can best be described as commercial entities.
The communiqué said the Catholic Church would remain an old Christian institution concentrating on the preaching of the word of Christ without adulteration, as the new churches do, adding that the high number of churches in the country should help accommodate each other and effectively propagate the word of God, instead of fighting among themselves.
According to the communiqué, it was time for African countries to effectively use the various cultural practices and religious heritage to glorify God, especially, using Africa music and drumming to worship the Creator, rather than the adoption of foreign cultures in the worship of God.
It continued that churches should use sound historical heritages, cultural heritages and religious heritages, which was the way of life of the people introduced in the worship of God, which would make the people, particularly, in Africa, to worship God better, and give more meaning to Christianity.
The communiqué further observed that the peace of the country was being undermined, due to the high rate of poverty, illiteracy, injustice, discrimination, indiscipline, oppression of all sorts, corruption and armed robbery, which threaten the very existence of the nation.
Touching on morality, the communiqué stressed the need for the church to help address the negative developments emerging in the country, such as prostitution, indecent dressing, alcoholism, lesbianism, homosexuality, bisexuality and pornographic displays in public places, as being challenges the nation was facing.
It also stated that the Media Commission, the churches and religious leaders, the Social Welfare Department and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should collaborate to help fight against social evils such as child and human rights abuse, and other negative developments that retard development.
The traditional rulers were also advised not to be influenced by politicians, but find ways and means to give good leadership in their respective communities, in order to reduce such social issues like land litigation, improper ‘enstoolment’ and ‘enskinment’ of chiefs, while communities without chiefs should address the problem to ensure peace.
The communiqué called on the government to help address problems associated with education in the remote communities of the country, by resolving the problem of congestion in schools due to inadequate classrooms, and appealed for effective collaboration between parents and teachers to enhance education in the country.