The Ghana Charismatic Bishops Conference has said an attempt by Members of Parliament to legislate against fake pastors and churches amounts to an attempt to control religious beliefs.
“…we do not support any idea of legislating or controlling beliefs, faiths or religious beliefs of our citizens,” the Bishops said in an official communiqué on the matter.
The Bishops said Ghanaians go to churches and prophets for solutions to the myriad of problems they face as citizens.
“The problems Ghanaians live with are in many cases not being solved in any practical manner by the authorities. When people are left with no hope they turn to their prophets and to their God for salvation for what should and could have been solved by national authorities,” the Bishops aver.
The Charismatic Bishops have instead asked Parliament to pay attention to the numerous issues that Ghanaians have been compelled to solve by prayer.
The Ghana Charismatic Bishops’ Conference is made up of Bishops from different Christian denominations with cathedrals in every region of the country.
Some legislators last week Wednesday asked 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, 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.
Mr Hayford also appealed to the media to sieve the content they put out. He said media houses should be circumspect about the ‘Men of God’ they offer their platform to.
The public, he said, should “also be vigilant and cautious in identifying which religious group and churches they associate with.”
However, the communiqué by the Ghana Charismatic Bishops Conference explained that the government cannot legislate to regulate a Christian’s 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. All who propose such things must know that it would only be logical, that such proposals should immediately include legislating how all other faiths in the country must be practised.
“This legislation would logically extend to include how Moslems, traditional healers, fetish priests and any other faiths are being practised in the country,” the Charismatic Bishops stated.
Already, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), the Rt. Rev Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, has also kicked against the move to prescribe regulations on activities of Churches.
According to Rt Rev Mante, when pastors or church leaders misbehave or go against the laws of the state, they should be dealt with according to the law and be treated as offenders of the law.
Read the full communiqué by the Ghana Charismatic Bishops Conference on the proposal to legislate against fake pastors and churches.