The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious affairs has drafted a national policy on religion which is yet to be submitted to cabinet for approval to address excesses and infringement on the right of religious adherents, the Deputy Minister of Chieftaincy Mr. Paul Essien has disclosed.
The deputy minister who stood in for President Akufo Addo at the 70th anniversary celebration of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Sunyani Municipality, which was under the theme “70 years of Adventism in Sunyani, heralding the second coming of Christ”.
The celebration which took place at the weekend at the forecourt of the Sunyani Jubilee Park was attended by dignitaries including the Kurontihene of Sunyani Traditional Council, Nana Bofotia Boamponsem and the Regional Minister, Madam Evelyn Ama Kumi Richardson, who was accompanied by some MMDCEs. Mr Essien stated that some pastors in the country had gone astray from what men of God did in ancient times, with most of them claiming that they have supernatural healing powers which they use to infringe on the fundamental human rights of their fellow Christians.
He said there were cases of abuse reported by some members of these religious denominations, which he said was very worrying and did not speak well of Christians. The deputy minister said this triggered the ministry to draft the national policy on religion that would bring sanity into the religious sector whereby religious denominations would be given the space to operate and within a particular frame work.
Mr Essien noted that the ministry had also rolled out a flagship program called “Christian pilgrimage to the state of Israel” in which the government would every year support Christians to embark on pilgrimage to Israel to witness and walk in the path of Jesus Christ to deepen their Christian faith.
He entreated pastors not to make statements that would defy their political color and sow seeds of political tension in the upcoming elections. He urged them to advise their followers to conduct themselves peacefully during the 2020 general election.
The President of the Midwest conference of the SDA, Pastor Paul Twumasi Danquah, disclosed the church, with 37 branches in Sunyani came into existence in the Sunyani Municipality in 1949 with 11 members at Newtown, a suburb of Sunyani.
He said strengthening and promoting education in the country was a core aim of the church and had begun the construction of an ultra modern resource centre to train the youth in technical and vocational skills.
The church is also putting up a new hospital in Abesim to support the existing SDA hospital to provide quality health care delivery in the municipality and the region as a whole.
Madam Kumi Richardson pledged to be supportive to the church and appealed to the church to vote massively for the NPP government in the 2020 general election to enable the government to continue with its good works.
The Member of Parliament for Sunyani East, who doubles as the Majority Chief Whip Mr Kwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh, on his part applauded the SDA church for contributing its quota towards the development of the country.
The Pastor for the branch church in Newtown, Pastor Robert Ransford Yeboah advised the youth to shun the get rich quick attitude and work diligently to earn good money.
www.arkfmonline.com / Rosemond Kissiwaa