Moves to regulate churches biased – Bishops’ conference

The Ghana Charismatic Bishops’ Conference has said it does not subscribe to the proposal by some Members of Parliament (MPs) to “control self-styled pastors, pastors and churches”, accusing the house of being biased against the Christian faith.

“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 citizens”, a statement by the General Secretary of the Conference, Rev. Kwasi Deh indicated.

“The Government cannot legislate to regulate a person’s Christian belief. It would be a glaring bias against the Christian faith and Christian churches for pastors, prophets or churches to be picked out for any such legislation”, it continued.

They argued that a well-intentioned regulatory regime would have ordinarily included all other religious sects but not necessarily geared towards only Christians.

“This legislation would logically extend to include how Moslems, traditional healers, fetish priests and any other faiths are being practiced in the country”, they argued.

The conference also cited as very important the roles of churches and prophets in national development and thus, does not see the need for parliament to want to legislate to regulate them.

“It must be acknowledged that Ghanaians are patronizing churches and prophets for solutions to the myriad of problems in our nation today. The problems Ghanaians live with are in many cases not being solved in any practical manner by the authorities”, the statement noted.

In what appears to be a swipe at the politicians, the charismatic churches advised that the parliamentarians to “rather pay attention to the issues that Ghanaians are forced to have to solve by prayer”.

Their comments come on the back of calls by some legislators last week Wednesday on the House to consider enacting a law to clamp down on exploitative self-styled men of God and their churches.

MP for Mfantseman, Ekow Hayford, specifically appealed that an independent body should be set up “backed by law and devoid of politics” which would investigate and check the activities of churches.

But the Charismatic churches deem the move a declaration of hostilities between the Church of God in Ghana and the Government of Ghana, something they believe is not healthy.

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