Church leaders tasked to ensure peaceful election
Christian leaders have been tasked to play an active role in ensuring that this year’s elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere devoid of tension.
The Superintendent Bishop of the Jesus Generation Ministries, Rt Rev. Dr Nana Anyani Boadum, has said the church must engage the country’s political parties ahead of the active campaign season to reduce the hot political climate that characterises elections in the country.
“We don’t want the kind of toxic political campaigns that may ruin this country. Already it has started and the political temperature is rising,” he said.
He was speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic at the ordination of Apostle David Ato Brown, the Head pastor of the Transformed Apostolic Ministry in Accra.
Born on February 5, 1967, Apostle Brown has gone through the mill as minister of the gospel, beginning from an assistant choir master in the Four-Square Church International to become a pastor in the same church and later the Achievers Faith International Ministry and the Anointed Calvary Church.
He has been the leader of the Transformed Apostolic Church since 2012.
‘Don’t endorse parties’
As has become the ritual in election years, some church leaders openly engage in the endorsement of presidential candidates and prophesy as to which candidate would win the elections.
Such endorsements are prevalent in Western democracies but frowned upon in Ghana.
In the United States, popular televangelist, Mike Murdock, head pastor of the Wisdom Centre Ministry, in February this year, joined a handful of evangelical leaders backing the Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump.
In the same country, ahead of the Democratic Party Iowa caucuses in January this year, 28 black ministers of the gospel endorsed Hillary Clinton's campaign.
But in an environment in which pastors are seen as arbitrators and respected for having a calming effect on rising political tension, Rt Rev. Dr Boadum said: “ If you are a reverend minister and you publicly endorse a political party or candidate, you are not helping your church.
“In your church, the people belong to different political persuasions. It is not the best. You should be in the middle and rather engage the political leaders.
“Churches must help and the help should not come in the form of endorsing political parties.”
He also took issues with Christian leaders who tagged members of their church with political parties just because of their names and looks.
“We need multiparty democracy so if Kwame belongs to CPP, and Kofi belongs to PNC, Yaw belongs to NPP and Ama to the NDC that is what we need,” Rev Anyani Boadum said.