ISSUED BY THE
CHRISTIAN COUNCIL OF GHANA (CCG) AND THE
GHANA CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE (GCBC)
ON WEDNESDAY MAY 5, 2021
Dearly Beloved citizens of goodwill resident in Ghana, receive warm greetings from the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) and the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We, the leaders of the Christian Council of Ghana and the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, held our annual Joint Meeting at Saint James Catholic Church, Osu, Accra, on Wednesday May 5, 2021. We used the opportunity to hold an Ecumenical Service to pray for Christian unity, the wellbeing of the Government and People of Ghana and reflected on how to abide in Christ as a nation in order to have sustainability of strength and not wither away (John 15:1-10).
In our joint meeting, we discussed matters of both Church and National interests. We deem it appropriate as Christian Leaders to speak to and bring the following issues to the attention of the Government and people of Ghana, especially to members of our Church communities.
COMPLIANCE WITH CODE OF CONDUCT IN MISSION SCHOOLS
We, the leadership of the CCG and GCBC have followed with keen interest the discussions about the authorities of Wesley Girls Senior High School, who allegedly prevented a student from fasting in the ongoing Ramadan. We have discussed the issue prayerfully and have studied the various press statements that some stakeholders of Education have released on the matter.
We wish to endorse the position of the Methodist Church Ghana, which they succinctly outlined in their May 4, 2021 Press release, and reiterate that the decision of Wesley Girls Senior High School authorities on fasting is purely in the interest of the students.
The leadership of CCG and GCBC therefore wish to state that we took strong exception to the directives of the Ghana Education Service issued in their press release on May 1, 2021, which stated that:
“The Ghana Education Service therefore directs authorities of Wesley Girls High School… to allow any such student who wishes to fast for any religious reason to do so.
The Parents of any such student are also directed to write to the School indicating that the school shall not be held liable for any health condition of the student as a result of the fast.”
We respectfully appeal to the Ghana Education Service to avoid making unilateral decisions when it comes to matters of concern on Mission Schools. The Missions and the State are in partnership in the administration of our Schools and we wish to state that all stakeholders must appreciate and respect the partnership. We appeal to the Ghana Education service to appreciate the religious space that Mission Schools provide the Churches. The Mission Schools are both circular and religious. We therefore expect all who attend Mission Schools to comply with the code of conduct of the Schools to uphold the discipline and high academic standards the Schools.
In the interest of Peace and Harmonious nation building, the leadership of CCG and GCBC calls for dialogue by stakeholders on matters that affect the administration of Mission Schools in our country. To this end, we would like to seek audience with the Minister of Education at his earliest convenient time to build consensus on these matters to prevent future occurrences.
ACTIVITIES OF SPIRITUALISTS AND THE GET RICH QUICK SYNDROME
We wish to express our concern about the ‘get rich quick syndrome’ in our nation for which reason individuals believe that they have to make money by any means. We have observed that the activities of spiritualists who promise to make people rich through their TV, radio and other social media platforms have contributed to fueling the ‘get rich quick syndrome.’
We the CCG and GCBC believe that it is important for us to see these developments as a national security threat and act speedily to deal with it. We, therefore, call on all major stakeholders, especially the Regulators of our media space, to clamp down on activities of fraudulent spiritualists, mallams, pastors and others who through their audio-visual content continue to propagate evils and their ‘get-rich-quick’ activities on our television stations and social media platforms.
We call on Ghanaian citizens to appreciate the need for hard work, honesty, values, integrity and the desire for genuine acquisition of wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).
ILLEGAL MINING (GALAMSEY)
We wish to commend government and the president of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for their renewed determination against illegal mining in our nation.
It is sad to know that illegal mining also known as “galamsey” is ongoing in some parts of the nation notwithstanding the efforts of stakeholders against this destructive act. On our various pastoral and social visits to some localities, we see the destruction of forests and the cutting down of cash crops for the purpose of galamsey. The galamsey menace has polluted our land (soil) and water bodies with chemicals like mercury, chlorine, cyanide and arsenic (which are harmful to human).
We therefore call on government, concerned agencies and Institutions, and all Ghanaians to be bold and courageous to sustain the campaign against illegal mining. We demand that any individual, security service personnel, politician or chief found to be working to thwart the fight against illegal mining should face the full rigors of the law. We encourage pastors to continue their advocacy against illegal mining. We also call on Traditional Leaders to use their authority to ban galamsey in their jurisdictions to avoid further destruction of our natural resources.
COVID 19 PANDEMIC AND VACCINATION
We have observed with much concern, the non-adherence of some Ghanaians to the COVID 19 protocols. We wish to appeal to our fellow citizens to observe religiously all the COVID-19 hygienic protocols. Let us all stay safe by wearing our face masks, observing social distancing, washing our hands regularly under running water with soap and also use the hand sanitizer frequently.
We wish to commend government for procuring the first dose of vaccines for our country. We urge government to do everything possible to get the needed vaccines for the various target groups of the nation as planned and to secure the second dosage for those who have had their first vaccinations to complete the process.
We believe that vaccination is an act of good neighborliness, which is a mark of good Christian principle. When one accepts the vaccine, the person does not only protect oneself from getting the disease but also protects others by stopping transmission. We therefore encourage all Ghanaians to avail themselves for their vaccination when the time comes.
2021 POPULATION AND HOUSING CENSUS
The 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) will take place from June 28-July 11, 2021. The leadership of CCG and GCBC humbly appeal to all citizens of our country to avail themselves for counting.
Population and Housing Census is significant for the growth and development of every nation. The data captured is important to plan the national, regional, district and local development of our nation. We therefore call on all Christians not to shy away from the Census but to see it as an opportunity to exercise their civic responsibility and to help in the developmental planning of the nation. We request that pastors continue to educate their congregants on the need to register during the period of the Census.
We also encourage all citizens to receive our brothers and sisters who will be coming to our homes in peace and assist them with the needed information to make their work easy.
We, the leaders of CCG and GCBC join the clarion call of “leave no one behind.” It is our prayer that everyone will be counted, enumerated once, and at the right place.
The Christian Council of Ghana and the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference wish to assure all Ghanaians that we would continue our public education, Christian advocacy ministry, and prayers for peace, harmony, and justice in Ghana.
In so doing we will continue to be non-partisan and be guided by the principles of the Holy Bible. We wish all Ghanaians well in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Signed Rev. Dr. Cyril G. K. Fayose
General Secretary, CCG Signed
Rev. Fr. Lazarus Anondee
General Secretary, CCG Signed
Rt. Rev. Prof. J.O.Y Mante
Most Rev. Philip Naameh President, GCBC