Fast and pray to preserve national unity – clergy admonishes Ghanaians (Friday, August 2, 2013) Front page

From left: Rt. Rev Francis Amenu, Chairman, Christian Council; Most Rev Joseph Osei-Bonsu, President of GCBC; Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, General Overseer of ACI.From left: Rt. Rev Francis Amenu, Chairman, Christian Council; Most Rev Joseph Osei-Bonsu, President of GCBC; Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, General Overseer of ACI.Three Christian groups have called on their members to fast and intensify their prayers to ensure the sustenance of peace and tranquillity in the country, especially after the Supreme Court delivers its verdict on the election petition.

They have also urged Ghanaians, particularly their members, to make personal vows with God not to derail the peace of the country.
The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) and the Action Chapel International (ACI) made the call in separate statements to the Daily Graphic.

The 22-member CCG, in its statement, declared August 4 to 11, 2013 as a week of fasting and prayers in all congregations and institutions.

The council also pledged to engage its congregations on the need to uphold the peace after the Supreme Court ruling on the election petition.

According to the CCG, the prayers would be directed at the panel of judges of the court and various adjudication processes to enable them to make the right decision.

“We call on our members, as well as members of the political parties, to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court, no matter which direction it goes, and avoid all actions that could precipitate violence in our country,” it said.

The council also urged the security services and the media to show professionalism in their conduct and reportage, respectively, throughout the processes.

For his part, the President of the GCBC, the Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, said parishes of the church had been asked to intensify their prayers for peace and stability in the country.

He also said the conference would meet in Accra next week to deliberate and give further directions not only to Catholics but the entire Ghanaian population.

In line with that, he said, a press conference would be held on Thursday, August 8, 2013 to be addressed in English and nine  local languages.

The Most Rev. Osei-Bonsu, who is also the Catholic Bishop of the Konongo-Mampong Diocese, said, “We will use the press conference to speak to all Ghanaians, hence the decision to address it in 10 different languages, including English.”

He appealed to Ghanaians to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court and continue to live in peace and harmony.

“Nobody should resort to insults or teasing after the ruling,” he advised.

The General Overseer of the ACI, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, whose church is already in the fasting and prayer week for Ghana, urged Ghanaians to make a personal vow with God not to derail the country’s peace after the judgement  on the case.

“I urge all Ghanaians to make a personal vow to God, to themselves and to their families that no matter what the verdict is, they will not lift up a finger, a sword, a gun or an accusation against another Ghanaian,” he said.

“Whatever choices and decisions we make after the verdict, whether they promote peace or violence, will become our legacy. If they promote peace, peace will become our legacy and that of our children and generations to come, but if they promote violence and shed the innocent blood of any Ghanaian, we must remember that that blood will live on to cry against our children and our bloodline until the end of time.

“Ghanaians would want to believe that politicians meant what they said and the test of that will be how they react to the verdict of the Supreme Court; whether truly they respect the rule of law and whether they will also go the extra mile to compel their supporters to abide by and respect the verdict of the Supreme Court,” Archbishop Duncan-Williams said.

With the Supreme Court having shown that it could deal with persons who disrespected its authority by jailing persons who made contemptuous comments, the archbishop believed that the judges would “do right by the law in the light of the destiny and future of  the people of this country”.

“A lot of discretion and discernment must be exercised in light of everything we are dealing with and going through as a nation,” he added.

That notwithstanding, he urged the church to intercede for the judges.

In that regard, he said, the ACI had declared a 10-day fast, which started from July 29 and will run through to August 9, praying for the nation and the Supreme Court judges that “God will grant them superior wisdom to do what they have to do and that God will grant the nation a divine resolution for a divine outcome at the end of the day”.

“Let nobody fool himself or herself into believing that if anything went wrong here in Ghana the world would intervene to help us. Take a look at Syria, Egypt and Libya — these nations are falling apart.

“It is a deception to think that some of these superpowers will come and help us — we will end up destroying one another and everything we have built as a people and a nation,” Archbishop Duncan-Williams said.


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