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You can’t silence the church – Clergy to Akufo-Addo

The Association of Pentecostal and Charismatic Clergy (APCC) has accused the ruling New Patriotic Party of launching a sustained attack against the Church and its leaders.

In a press statement dated August 4, the APCC claimed that “for almost four years, the church had faced stiff opposition from this government.”

In the statement signed by the General Secretary of the Association, Rev. John Armah, it said the Akufo-Addo-led government launched a vicious campaign against “almost every influential Man of God in this Nation” immediately after coming into office.

“Strange and unimaginable inquisitions of Reverend Ministers and Bishops were vigorously pursued. That was the initial attempt to seek to get ‘dirt’ on them and eventually use it as a point to blackmail them if they should dare speak up at any point,” the APCC statement read.

The APCC said the government’s tactics to silence the Church will not succeed and, thus, is calling on the government to halt the persecution of the Church.

“This muzzling of free speech and opinion and a subtle attempt at censoring the clergy must be resisted with righteous indignation,” the Association said.

Below is the full statement:

4TH August 2020
Never have we seen in the history of Ghana a government launch a sustained
campaign and attack on the body of Christ. It would not be in error to call this a
government sponsored attack on the Church considering the fact that the vitriol started
with a Presidential staffer then an NPP Member of Parliament and recently the NPP
Ashanti regional chairman to mention a few affiliated persons. These have been
encored by the government’s legion of social media commentators repeating these
In the not so distant past, Ghana was known to be a very free and open country. A
country that could pride itself with the ability of its citizens to live together peacefully
irrespective of their tribes, ethnicity, religion or creed. As a matter of fact, Ghana had
become a shining example of political, tribal and religious tolerance on the continent of
Africa. However, happenings over the past few years makes it difficult for our nation to
still boast with those accolades of tolerance. Intolerance and an almost violent clamp
down on dissenting opinion has become the new normal.
We have taken a slippery slope down the road of intolerance on all fronts. We are
becoming a nation that cannot accept divergent views and opinions. A political class
has emerged that believes that the right to act and speak on national issues is solely
their preserve. We are gradually becoming bigoted to the extent that any commentary
that expresses views contrary to that of the government is considered anti-government
and one seeking to tarnish the reputation of the government – even if true.
In most developed societies, religion and religious leaders have been one of the major
agents of development. In our dear country, churches have been a great agent of
development for many years. The Church has been very influential in all aspects of our
national development including education, health, economy, security, social welfare and
infrastructure to mention but a few. As a nation that has over 70% of its citizens being
Christians one would have thought that any government that really seeks to develop
this country will do so in tandem with the church.
Unfortunately for almost 4 years, the church had faced stiff opposition from this
government. One of the first things this government did after coming into power was to
pursue almost every influential Man of God in this Nation. Strange and unimaginable
inquisitions of Reverend Ministers and Bishops were vigorously pursued. That was the
initial attempt to seek to get ‘dirt’ of them and eventually use it as a point to blackmail
them if they should dare speak up at any point.
The next phase of the attack on the Church was a scathing crusade by Hon Ken
Agyapong against so called false prophets. The entire agenda according to the Member
of Parliament was to expose the ills of the church. Obviously, the Church as an

institution is not infallible and without fault. Some people seeing beyond the supposed
intention of the MP indicated that the initial victims of the crusade were not the ultimate
targets and that the actual targets were the pastors of the mega churches who had lots
of followings and influence within and outside Ghana. The Pentecostal and Charismatic
clergy with its strong influence in the country was the target. The goal was to silence the
Pentecostal and Charismatic movement from any possible critique of government.
Fast forward, the current state of affairs points to an unwritten decree and rule in Ghana
that no one, be you a professional in your field of endeavor or a Pastor, big or small,
must say anything that disagrees with the government or the current ruling political
class. This muzzling of free speech and opinion and a subtle attempt at censoring the
Clergy must be resisted with righteous indignation.
Recently there has been a calculated state sponsored attack on one of Ghana’s
revered and finest Bishops – Bishop Charles Agyinasare. His offense was he dared to
ask a question in one of his sermons about the supposed financial sector cleanup. He
asked if “for some of the collapsed banks, could nothing have been done to save them
from collapsing?” This he asked amongst other things. The government’s
communication machinery descended heavily on him with unprintable insults, threats
and attacks.
As a follow up to this, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), which
is made up of about 30% of the population of Ghana, issued a strongly worded
statement to tell political leaders to call their people to order. Sadly though, the leader of
the ruling government who is also the President of the Republic turned a deaf ear to this
call. On the contrary, a day after the GPCC statement, a sitting member of Parliament
Hon Ken Agyapong called the bluff of the GPCC and launched the most blistering
attack yet on the Bishop. Let it be known that the Bishop we know would not be
deterred. He would not be intimidated by false accusations and lies peddled to
denigrate his impeccable reputation. That agenda has failed from the start.
It is also recalled that, during the lockdown period, a Pastor who was found holding
a church service with less than thirty of his members was quickly arraigned before
court and sentenced together with some of his Church Elders for 4years. Shortly after
that, during the ruling NPP’s internal elections, all the COVID-19 protocols contained in
the Executive Instrument were flouted with gross impunity on live TV across the nation.
No one was arrested, questioned or imprisoned! It took the President over a week to
make a comment about the incident.
It is obvious that there is a calculated attempt to silence the Church in Ghana. Our
current government believes that a silent church will be advantageous to their cause.
Indeed a host of Ken Agyapong’s TV program on several occasions rained insults and
invectives on Christian leaders and pastors. He called them out by name and cursed
and abused them on national television. Some of these Clergymen have been in
ministry for 25, 30, 40 years and over. The NPP MP’s television show actually
suggested the possibility of closing down charismatic churches.
The persecution of the Church is no more what we use to read about in Maiduguri,
China and the Middle East, the Persecution of Christian leaders is right here with us –
in Ghana.

If you are a Christian, a Pastor, a Bishop in Ghana, especially of the Pentecostal or
Charismatic persuasion, you must understand this once and for all, the church
persecution has started. And it is definitely going to get worse if we do not rise up and
speak even as we pray. Never in the history of Ghana have we ever experienced a
direct and targeted crusade against Christian leaders by a particular government like
we have it today. In the midst of all these attacks, I urge the members of this
government and their agents to read what was said to Saul when he set out to fight and
persecute the church in the Book of Acts Chapter Acts 9:5 “And he said, Who art thou,
Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick
against the pricks.”
*The Association of Pentecostal and Charismatic Clergy have taken inspiration from the crusade embarked upon by Bishop Charles Agyinasare’s recent campaign and teachings on national transformation, calling on political leaders, to give us a civil service devoid of partisan politics and a nation that eschews corrupt practices and reckless borrowing etc.
Mr. President, with your over 70 years on earth, I am sure you’ve read enough history
to the effect that all those who persecuted the church never succeeded. I will therefore
urge you to put an immediate end to this persecution and call your people to order.
Mr. President, under your predecessor, one of his appointees spoke against the Head
of the Presbyterian Church. What we saw in that instance was that he, the President,
had gone to apologize to the clergyman. Mr. President, a good name is better than
riches. At birth, there was a Pastor who dedicated you to God and when your time on
earth is done, there will be a Pastor to lay you to rest. Please do not go down in history
as the President under whose term the Church and Pastors were persecuted.
To all those who think that well this is an attack on the Church and you cannot be
bothered, I leave you with this quote from a German Priest, Pastor Martin Niemöller
”First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a
trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.“

Rev. John Armah
General Secretary

Source: Ghana/

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