Charismatic churches oppose Parliament’s proposed regulated law

The Ghana Charismatic Bishops’ Conference has opposed Parliament’s proposed regulation to control excesses of churches.

“We, the Ghana Charismatic Bishops’ Conference, will like to state that we do not support any idea of legislating or controlling beliefs, faiths or religious beliefs of our citizenry and our position on the discussion is informed,” it stressed.

Parliament advocated legislation to clamp down on abuse of congregants, especially by one-man churches when Ekow Hayford, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mfantseman, in a statement on the floor of the House, said it was time the State took drastic action against pastors who abuse people’s rights and called for legislation and an independent body to manage church activities.

Contributing to the statement, MP for Ablekuma Central, Ebenezer Nartey, stated that some pastors did not deserve titles and cited instances where some of them distributed lotto numbers and sell paraphernalia at exorbitant prices among others.

Subsequently, Professor Mike Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, gave the joint committees of Youth, Sports and Culture as well as the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, one-month ultimatum to investigate and report back to the House how best to regulate activities of churches.

In a communiqué issued in Accra, the Ghana Charismatic Bishops’ Conference said the government could not legislate to regulate Christian beliefs, it would be glaring bias against Christian faith, pastors, prophets or churches to be picked out for any such legislation.

It said those who proposed must know it would only be logical that proposals should immediately include legislating how all other faiths must be practiced. The legislation must logically extend to include how Moslems, traditional healers, fetish priests and other faiths are practised.

“As Ghanaians, we suggest, congregants be allowed and encouraged to use good judgment when they patronise churches and prophets. It must be acknowledged they patronise churches and prophets for solutions to myriad of challenges.

 “Challenges of the citizenry are not solved in any practical manner by authorities.When people are left with no hope, they turn to God for salvation for what can be solved by authorities,” the communiqué said.

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