Presbyterian Church of Ghana Condemns Lynching of a 90-year-old woman in the Savannah Region
The Presbyterian Church of Ghana has learnt with utmost shock and dismay the murder of Madam Akua Denteh, an over 90-year-old woman accused of witchcraft in the Savannah Region of Ghana.
The Church condemns this gruesome, barbaric and wicked act and calls on the security agencies, reported to be investigating the matter, to fast-track the process in order to bring the perpetrators to book.
We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family of the late Madam Denteh and pledge the Church’s prayer support to the family. The PCG joins with its Women’s Fellowship to express solidarity with all women who suffer indignities as a result of ill-considered and unjustifiable responses to witchcraft accusations.
That accusations of witchcraft persist in many parts of the country into the 21st Century, and that they could lead to full-blown violence against those so accused, is a sad commentary on the performance of our national institutions. The PCG as a lead player on the NGO front, working for the human rights, protection and integration of women accused of witchcraft in the northern regions of Ghana, calls for a reevaluation of current approaches by NGOs to the issue.
We further entreat relevant institutions such as the police and the courts to work together to ensure that in such incidents as the current one, justice is done swiftly and publicized to deter others who might want to pursue similar paths.
We also, appeal to our Chiefs and religious leaders to live up to their responsibility of weaning their communities away from customary beliefs, attitudes and practices that undermine progress and expose our nation to ridicule on the international scene.
We are of the conviction that a little reactiveness on the part of our community and religious leaders and investigative bodies at the District and town/village level can prevent such beliefs and accompanying accusations from exploding into violence. This is so because the suspicions that lead to the accusations and eventual violent acts begin from, or at least, pass through shrines and some other religious establishments before they gather momentum and attract the murderous clamour.
The leadership of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana directs all our agents to keep the case of Madam Akua Denteh in the public view until justice is done. Mention it in sermons and make it a prayer topic at every prayer meeting. Do not let the issue die out without securing justice for the victim’s family; keep it alive until the old woman receives justice.
May the Lord’s special blessings be poured on anyone who works to bring to an end this dehumanizing phenomenon of ill-treating alleged witches in our societies.
God bless you all.
The Rt Rev Prof. J. O. Y. Mante,
Moderator of the General Assembly.
Presbyterian Church of Ghana
27th July, 2020