The two major political parties in Ghana – the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the biggest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) – must stop taking the Church for granted, the Presiding Bishop of Perez Chapel International, Bishop Charles Agyinasare has said.
He told the congregation at the Perez Dome, Dzorwulu, on Sunday, 13 September 2020 that: “The two major political parties have shared their 2020 manifestos: they acknowledge that to write their documents, they consulted with various groups in this country, except the Church”.
“Interestingly, there are various and definite things all the parties are doing for various groups, including minority religious groups in this country.
“Since the inception of our Fourth Republican Constitution, no party, be it NDC or NPP, has included the Church in their plans”, the founder of Perez Chapel International, who has been on a national transformation agenda for the past few months, bemoaned.
Bishop Agyinasare, thus, warned the two parties to “stop taking the Church for granted because the sleeping giant is waking up”.
Read Bishop Agyinasare’s full concerns below:
The Church in Ghana forms 70% of the population of this great country.
The economy of the Church far exceeds many of the groups and associations in the country. If the Church withholds its offerings and tithes to the bank for a month it would be a problem for the banks. She employs thousands and owns hundreds of schools, hospitals and universities which serve this country.
The two major political parties have shared their 2020 manifestos: they acknowledge that to write their documents they consulted with various groups in this country, except the Church. Interestingly, there are various and definite things all the parties are doing for various groups, including minority religious groups in this country. Since the inception of our Fourth Republican Constitution, no party, be it NDC or NPP, has included the Church in their plans.
What the Church keeps receiving over the years from political figures in the media are threats of closure and taxation of churches. If governments would not help the Church, they should not be eyeing what she gets from tithes and offerings, which they use to build incredible things in this country like schools and hospitals, as well as scholarships, paying of staff etc. No doubt, the Church has been a major contributor to national development and must therefore be appreciated and supported.
Unlike our governments, which collect taxes and sometimes use them recklessly and without proper accountability, the Church receives tithes and offerings, which members give voluntarily, and makes good use of them. In a country like the UK, for instance, at the end of the year, the Church is given 25% back by the government of the contribution of members in what is called Gift Aid.
I want to reiterate that both parties must show what they are doing in at least the following 10 points proposed for National Transformation:
1. That they would deliver to us a civil service that is non-partisan.
2. That they would complete projects started by the previous government and make us use them.
3. That tribal politics would not be upheld any longer in our body politic.
4. That government(s) would not spend our monies recklessly by incurring judgement debts and excessive borrowing.
5. That politicians would not have different rules apply to them than the citizens.
6. That their team would not insult their opponents and people who disagree with them, but would rather deal with issues.
7. That they would be swift to fight corruption.
8. That the political class would not sideline the other pillars of society.
9. That they would ensure that our democracy would allow us freedom of speech and we would not be afraid to share our opinion.
10. That whoever is in power would allow strong opposition TV and radio stations (because without a strong opposition we are a one-party state)
As they consider the 10 Points, they must begin to talk about how to support the churches that have provided several regular interventions for the needy and poor in society. They should stop taking the Church for granted because the sleeping giant is waking up.