The members of the Concern Clergy and Christians of Ghana (CCCG), has damned the leadership of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference over its decision to hit the streets in connection with the expatriation of the two Guantanamo Bay detainees into the country.
“We have observed with deep regrets, the position taken by the leadership of our colleagues from other religious groups, regarding the acceptance of the two ex-Guantanamo detainees into the country.
The members of CCCG see these condemnations as intolerant pronouncements by some of the religious groups, particularly the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference and its national President, urging Ghanaians to “hit the street” and demonstrate against the ex-Gitmo detainees as unfortunate and an indictment on the clergy in Ghana, as well as the Christian fraternity as a whole”.
The CCCG made this remark in a statement jointly signed by Apostle Obediah Amankwa, and Rev. Dr. Augustus Anim
The statement said as clergymen and Christians in Ghana, who pray every day and are asking the detainees to be sent back was unfortunate,
According to the CCCG, the claims by the Catholic Bishops that they will lead a massive demonstration against government if it remains headstrong on their call to send the Gitmo two back, was unfortunate.
The statement asked, should a man of God condemn someone, when God has not condemned him or her [Luke 6: 37] or has the clergy or the so-called men of God, forgotten about their Bible which says blessed are the merciful and the peacemakers [Mathew 5: 7, 9].
‘We are of the view that, the inability of the leaderships of the various religious groups to encourage Christians through relentless prayer is creating anxiety among the citizenry’.
The Concerned Clergy, says it has no issue with concerns being expressed by the public, however, it believed that the clergymen, should not be the ones fuelling and fronting this charge.
The statement added that Ghana was known to be a peaceful nation, therefore, when persons who are supposed to be men of God are making statements, they should be mindful of is worrying.
“We wish to state that, it is Godly of Christian virtues to accept these brothers into the country”.
This is to prove to the world that, we trust in God and practice His love.
The statement added that as Christians believe, God loves everybody including sinners.
What, the statement continue, we should understand is, not all the ex-convicts are criminals because in the Bible, people like; Joseph (Genesis. 39:20-23), John the Baptist (Mark 6:17-20), Jesus (Luke 22:54-71) are all ex-convicts, including apostles such as Peter (Acts 12:1-10), Paul (Acts 16:23-34) among others.
If these righteous people were all ex-detainees, then we should know that, not all prisoners are criminals’.
The statement called on the Catholic Bishops to put their political interest aside and see to the welfare of detainees who are seeking refuge here.
The group indicated that it do not have any problem with the politicians, social commentators, pressure groups, and other civil society organizations, who are calling on the government to return the two ex-detainees.
“ For the clergymen and religious groups who are supposed to preach peace and compassion, to be hopping from one radio station to the other championing the deportation of the ex-detainees, is not only unfortunate but disappointing”.
The statement questioned where these religious groups were during the dreaded intra-party political violence and vandalisms which took place recently when innocent Ghanaians were attacked with clubs, guns and machetes without any provocation.
The statement added, does these unwarranted attacks and vandalisms not amount to terrorism which also deserves the issuing of statements of condemnation.
We believe that, our religious leaders must not use their positions to clandestinely push the interest of politicians.
To this end, we call on any clergyman, who feels like entering into full time politics should do so, but should first hang his or her cassock and stop hiding behind the pulpit.