The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, has given a joint committee of Parliament a one-month deadline to develop recommendations on the possible regulation of churches in the country.
The Committees tasked with this responsibility are the Youth, Sports and Culture Committee, and the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
The referral follows Wednesday’s debate on the Floor where some MPs called for the state to regulate the activities of one-man churches due to the many excesses associated with their activities.
“They should work and report to this honourable house within one month. [They can also deliberate on] Whether we should also have some of these things clearly established so when people are arrested under suspicious circumstances, the law will apply appropriately.”
Some MPs call for regulation of ‘one-man’ churches
Some Members of Parliament on Wednesday called for a law to regulate activities of churches owned and run by individuals and self-professed pastors.
Some of these churches are alleged to have been engaging in all manner of unacceptable practices in the country.
According to some MPs, there is a need for Parliament to critically investigate the activities of these churches and pastors to protect Ghanaians from exploitation.
They contend that a certain level of regulation is required to prevent these churches and pastors from engaging in abuse, indoctrination and other activities that are not in line sound Christian teaching.
MPs deliberated on the issue following a statement from MP for Mfantseman, Ekow Hayford.
“Mr. Speaker, it is time this House takes a decision to see how best to clamp down on these churches,” the Ablekuma Central Member of Parliament, Ebenezer said on the Floor of Parliament on Wednesday.
Regulating churches a no go area – Sam George warns
The Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Narteh George on Eyewitness News cautioned Parliament to desist from any moves aimed at passing a legislation to regulate churches in the country.
He said such attempts to control the activities of religious groups will be an affront to biblical teachings and the basic freedoms of the Ghanaian.
He, therefore, wants Parliament to adopt a more workable solution with the leadership of the various church groups in that regard.
“The constitution states that everybody will have the freedom of religion and so I don’t know how you may want to regulate freedom. You cannot legislate on the Holy Spirit. I admit that there are few charlatans who are abusing the altar. But the church and religious organizations are already regulated in this country. We have the Christian Council, Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches.”
Source: Daily Graphic
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