PRESS RELEASE: Christian Council of Ghana urges political parties to address religious concerns on campaign platforms

The Christian Council of Ghana is calling on political parties to address concerns of religious bodies as they intensify electioneering campaigns across the country. General Secretary Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong has observed a lack of interest in raising issues regarding the interest of the Christian Community and other religious bodies in the country by politicians on the campaign front.

Speaking to the Ebenezer Congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Ashale Botwe in Accra, Rev. Dr. Opuni-Frimpong congratulated the parties on the successful launch of their campaign and education on their manifestos. He, however, is unhappy the manifestos failed to acknowledge the significance and influence of the church in national development.

The CCG General Secretary enumerated some key contributions of the church such as its ownership of over 40 percent of health institutions in Ghana, the large number of people it employs in secretariats and affiliated business, the establishment of schools from the basic to the tertiary level- basic, secondary, tertiary and special education, the churches role in public education and its contribution to the sustenance of the banking industry.

These notwithstanding, key challenges confront religious institutions in the country and politicians must be ready to address them as they embark on the campaign trail, according to Rev Dr. Opuni-Frimpong. Chief among these is the partnership between government and the Church in the management of mission schools. He is worried about what seem like the side-lining of the churches in the running of these schools.

There is also and the lack of progress in pleas from the churches to government to give tax rebates and other incentives to private not-for-profit Christian Universities.

The CCG General Secretary also expressed concern about the crippling of Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) facilities by the overly delayed payment of National Health Insurance claims. These payment which can delay for as much as ten months leave the facilities which in most instances are running on bank loans, in dire financial distress.

Another area of prime concern according to Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong is the lack of a state foreign policy to support Ghanaians churches which have established missions outside the country, some as far as Afghanistan. He referred to how the early missionaries received enormous support from their European countries and urged the political parties to consider a similar policy to support the Ghanaian missionaries in the course of spreading their missions and the influence of Ghana throughout the world.

Rev Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong in the sermon commended the parties for their commitment to setting up funds such as the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), and the Zongo Development Fund. He is however of the view that similar funds must be set up for other deprived communities of the country.

The clergyman urged political parties to acknowledge these challenges and commit to dialoguing with the church on finding lasting solutions that will address the concerns of the over 70 percent of the population which happen to be Christian.



Date: 11/13/2016



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