Ghanaians blamed for taking religion too far, (Tuesday April 6, 2010 pg 14)

Ghana’s socio-economic challenges have been blamed on the number of productive hours Ghanaians spend observing religious practices.

A senior lecturer at the Department of Sociology of the University of Ghana, Prof Max Assimeng, made the observation at the launch of the second edition of his book, “Religion and Social Change in West Africa”, at a ceremony in Accra.

The 291-page book, published by Woeli Publishing Services, examines sociology and religion and analyses the dynamics of religion in the West African sub-region.

Prof Assimeng said the country had failed to make economic progress because “in any country where there is too much religion, economic activity goes down”.

According to him, Ghanaians had taken religion too far, as “we have downplayed the role of the economic sector and rather spend hours on all-nights, deliverance and anointing services”.

He said Ghanaians needed to strike a balance between the time spent on religious and commercial activities to move the country’s developmental agenda forward.
He wondered why most people were willing to go to church when they were sick but would not turn up for work with the least affliction.

“All countries that are progressing are both religious and hardworking at the same time,” Prof Assimeng observed.

He said the second edition of the book had become necessary because the first edition, which was published in 1989, had run out of stock, adding that it was also necessary to publish the second edition because of recent developments in the country’s religious set up.

He indicated that the book was targeted at the new universities in the country with mission backgrounds to teach religion not based on sectarian values but encompass all religions across board, “be it traditional, Islamic, Christian, Buddhism”.

Prof Assimeng observed that religion would always remain important in the lives of humanity, as “human beings would have created God if He did not exist”.

Launching the book, Dr Kwadwo Kwabia, a lecturer at the Regional Maritime University, said the book was a must read for all persons interested in understanding religious dynamism in Ghana and, for that matter, the West African sub-region.

Reviewing the book, Mrs Nana Ama Twumasi, a lecturer at the Presbyterian University College, said the book was a well-researched, world-class masterpiece that needed to be read by all persons who wanted to come to terms with the concept of religion and its influence on society.


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