Concerned Pastors question President on conflicting Church restrictions
Rev. Festus Abbey, the Founder and Leader appealed to the president to “to discuss with the Ministry of Education to reconsider placing bound on churches that operate in schools.”
Concerned Pastors in the capital of the Ashanti Region, Kumasi have petitioned the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on trendy concerns regarding strict regulations conflicting the Christian faith.
The worries outlined by the pastors from different denominations enquired on why the church should be given a limited hour for service on Sunday, a regulated number of 100 people without considering the size of the auditorium, why people with the underlying conditions be excluded from services and further concerns about the exemption of children from services and ban placed on churches that operate in schools.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during a televised nationwide address on Sunday [May 31, 2020], directed religious activities to commence, beginning June 5, 2020.
He however mentioned that only a maximum of 100 persons in a church or mosque will be allowed.
"With effect from Friday, 5th June, we will begin stage one of the process of easing restrictions. An abridged format for religious services can commence. Twenty-five percent attendance with a maximum number of congregants can worship at a time in church or mosque with the mandatory one-meter rule of social distancing between congregants,” he noted.
At a press conference held at the Center for National Culture on Monday, July 13, 2020, founder and leader, Rev. Festus Abbey revealed that the government has been biased to the Christian faith following its impositions on the activities of churches.
He explained that services rendered by the church is respectable in such a time of coronavirus outbreak and do not pose much threat to the lives of members unlike market places, institutions that render essential services, and the ongoing registration exercise.
“We have market women who go to the market from 6 am to 6 pm., we have institutions of essential services who go to work eight hours every day, are they not part of Ghanaians? Why has the church has been restricted to only one-hour service? We also have schools that are operating without restricting to time, we have other offices and private companies that operate without time-bound, we still want to ask the question of why the church is been restricted?
“In the ongoing registration exercise, which starts from 7 am to 5 pm, for almost 10 hours, why not the church also be given the same freedom to operate as other organizations?” he asked.
The Leader also queried on why a church which has a membership of five thousand and more been constrained to allow hundred instead, other institutions with a higher number of workers operate fully by enforcing that the health protocols are adhered to. With the government regulation intervention policies put in place and highly observed in the churches, the Association directed that the church should be allowed to operate without being specific to numbers.
“We have other institutions and organizations such as schools, hospitals, banks, and market centers operating by enforcing the wearing of nose masks, and washing of hands and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Why is the church also not given the same freedom which other bodies in operation are enjoying without been restricted to a specific number of people,” he asked.
Rev. Festus Abbey further appealed to the president to “to discuss with the Ministry of Education to reconsider placing bound on churches that operate in schools” and also permit religious services in the various Senior High Schools stating that “it is unfortunate to train the future leaders of this country without considering issues of our faith because it plays a major role in nation’s development.”