Easter messages from the clergy: Pray for global peace, stability!

Religious leaders in Ghana have admonished Christians to pray fervently for peace and stability in countries where there are conflicts.

The call follows the current Ukraine-Russian war, unrest in some African countries as a result of coups d’état and terrorism, among others, which has resulted in scores of death and displacement of many.

They stated these in separate interviews with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday as Christians celebrate the Easter festivities.

The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Most Rev. Philip Naameh said; “Let us never get tired of praying for peace because a church on its knees is stronger than an army on its feet. Our faith, restore our hope, dispel the gloom of war with its dark shadow of the crisis, and grant our world peace and joy!”

Most Rev Philip Naameh

“We have uneasy calm in Bawku (Upper East Region) and in some other places of Ghana as well as instability in some of our neighbouring countries. Moreover, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war is destabilising the whole world,” he added.

He said as Christians, their faith tells them that prayer could help bring about peace in times and places of war.

Most Rev. Naameh urged Christians to renew their commitment to reject any acts of evil, including acts of war, conflicts and any actions which lead to the senseless loss of (innocent) lives and the creation of needless crises.

”On the other hand, we also vowed to believe in only the one triune God and to obey Him alone. So, let us unreservedly and enthusiastically renew our commitment to this salvific path of trusting and obeying God,” he added.

Most Rev. Naameh who is also the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale,stated that Easter is significant for us because the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is a source of hope and new life for Christians, and indeed, for all mankind.

“This is because Jesus shares His new life with us. In the Gospel of John, Jesus said to His disciples: “But you will see me because I live, and you will live.

“Share in my life” (John 14:19b). In the resurrection, all of us are invited to live and share in God’s life of glory made manifest in the risen Jesus,” he added

In the light of this hope, he said Christians were called to deal with the continuous difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and all other crises that the world and Ghana, in particular, may be experiencing now.

Most Rev. Naameh said Easter was about finding the path to peace and harmony, adding that the resurrection was also a call to all people of this world in general, and Christians in particular, to do all we can to break the barriers that keep us separated or divided.

The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, Most Rev. Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo said Easter was about removing the stones in one’s personal life and the society.

“There are many stones of despair that need to be removed from the graves of hopelessness in our hearts and in our nations, Let Easter Wonder, touch every human soul in this country,’’he added.

Most Rev Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo.pdf – Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Most Rev. Boafo stated that Easter was an opportunity to start over again, and a reminder to the world that they had a living Saviour who could heal all brokenness and despair and replace it with hope.

“This is the essence of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus on the first Easter, Easter is a call to allow the Holy Spirit to begin transforming us as individuals and as people of the world,’’he added

The Anglican Bishop of Accra, Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto,on his part commended the government for its success so far in the fight against COVID-19.  

“Our lives have been significantly disrupted by the impact of COVID-19. But, amid these challenges, we appreciate the government’s efforts in continuing its various social interventions and flagship programmes,” he added.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto

He called on the government, through the Ministry of Finance, to ensure that the funds accrued from the E-Levy were judiciously utilised for the greater good and benefit of Ghanaians as envisioned.

Bishop Torto appealed to the government to address the economic situation in the country and bring stability to the economy.

He commended the government initiative on sanitation, “Operation Clean your Frontage.”

“The citizenry’s cooperation with this initiative has been wonderful, especially in Greater Accra. We encourage the government to commit more resources and attention to the initiative till the intended purpose is achieved,” he said.

He applauded the Police Service, especially the Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, for his exceptional leadership and urged them to enforce the laws of the land without fear or favour.

He also commended the media and encouraged the public to use social media responsibly and in a God-honouring way.

“Let us use social media to encourage one another with the good news of Easter – that Jesus is alive. He has conquered sin and death and has set us free to build up and encourage one another in following the way of Jesus,”he added

The clergyman said in the Gospel of Matthew, that the account of Jesus’ resurrection includes two separate but similar occurrences particularly the use of the phrase “Do not be afraid.”

“Many people right now are afraid. Apart from the coronavirus, we have our fears about how to find the money for upkeep; we fear our job security; we still have concerns about politics and the economic challenges; churches are in fear of not knowing where their income will come from when things are seemingly difficult for members.

These fears are like stones in our hearts. The Lord said to the women who went to the tomb looking for Jesus, “Do not be afraid.” He’s saying the same thing to us today: “Do not be afraid.” Let the stones of fear in your life be rolled away. Jesus is alive, and because he lives, we can face tomorrow,” he said.

The Bishop appealed to the Christian community in Ghana to live and work to the praise and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, stating that Christian lives must reflect Christ and send the right message to the world as the light of the world.

The Regional Overseer in charge of Accra West of the Resurrection Power and Living Bread Ministries, Bishop Yaw Owusu Ansah, said Easter was a season when God decided to bring the entire world back to himself through his son Jesus Christ, and to repair the damage caused by the first family, Adam and Eve, when they sinned and created a disconnection between them and God. 

He said sin always brings separation and break in communication, but in spite of this God was still calling upon them from where they were as a sign of his love, his care and his concern.

“God still cares about us and wants us to come to him irrespective of what we have done against him. Let us reconcile as a people and as a nation and as a family because that is what God intended for humanity,” he said.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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