Religious Leaders Urged To Promote Peace

The Senior Presidential Advisor, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo has applauded the role of religious leaders towards peace and security in Ghana and Africa.

The last population census in 2010 indicated an overwhelming religious population of about 98% of Ghanaians.

According to him, it is in this regard, President has initiated the building of a National Cathedral where people of all faiths can gather to worship God.

This he said, the President has consistently since assuming power, in 2017, has also encouraged leaders of faith and their followers, to tolerate and coexist for a united Ghana.

The Senior Presidential Advisor, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo made this known in a statement read on his behalf by Mr. Robert Poku Kyei, at the launching of launching the Ghana Chapter of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) in Accra.

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This he said, Religious intolerance and extremism have not established roots in the country yet, largely due to the in-depth and positive socialization and engagement of Ghanaians of all faiths and the respect they have had for each other’s values and beliefs, for so many years now.

“We, therefore, as a people have a duty to promote those things that have worked for us towards the maintenance of peace and national cohesion over the years. These include the promotion of love, tolerance, peaceful coexistence, and diversity.

We as a people cannot sacrifice these on the altar of religious enthusiasts. Let us remember that it is always better and productive to use non-violent means to address our differences even in the face of provocations,” he advised.

Stressing that, the struggle for peace is, therefore, a collective responsibility of all citizens. This he said, everyone, has to work assiduously to contribute to the peace of Ghana and the world.

“I am fully aware that institutions of state including the National Peace Council, have consistently called on leaders of faith to dialogue in times of misunderstanding.

In 2015 for example the issue of the ‘Hijab” almost set the country on the path of religious division. Through the efforts of the leaders of both the Christian and the Muslim communities, the matter was addressed.

Not too long ago in this year, the issue of fasting also came up, and through the collective resolve of our religious leaders, the matter is also being addressed.

So, our leaders of faith have a huge responsibility in making our people to coexist and tolerate people of divergent views and beliefs.

It is significant to mention the visit of the National Chief Imam, Sheik (Dr.) Osman Nuhu Sharabutu to Christ the King Catholic Church in 2019 to interact with worshippers on the occasion of his 100th birthday,” he explained.

It is also in this vein that I condemn in no uncertain terms the so-called prophesies particularly before general elections, predicting electoral outcomes, with the potential to divide the country.

I am aware the National Peace Council has time and again expressed concern about the phenomena. Let me hereby add my voice by calling on all religious leaders to conduct their activities with the highest circumspection, and responsibility, to ensure that in the exercise of their religious freedom, they do not undermine and violate the rights of others, nor derail the peace of the country.

It is prudent we take into account the myriad of religious intolerance that is creeping into the body politic of many African states, in recent times.

According to him, the government will continue to create platforms for actors in the peace architecture to share knowledge and ideas that will facilitate the prevention, management, and resolution of conflicts.

Adding that the government will also empower peoples of all origins, faiths, and beliefs to play their roles effectively for tolerance for divergent views and peaceful coexistence.

The Secretary-General, of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Ghana Dr. Helen M. Osei (Mrs) also, noted that world peace can be achieved only when the endeavours of the world’s political leaders are complemented by the wisdom and efforts of religious leaders.

It is in this regard, we bringing religious leaders on board by launching the Ghana Chapter of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD).

According to her, the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) is one of the primary associations of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) formed to help tackle crucial issues that would help promote and ensure lasting peace in the country.

Stressing that, in order to ensure peace in the country; there is a need for all and sundry especially the new ambassadors to contribute to wholeheartedly the cause.

About Universal Peace Federation (UPF)
UPF was founded by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon. UPF is made up of an international and interreligious network of individuals and organizations, including representatives from religion, government, civil society, and the private sectors dedicated to achieving world peace.

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/

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