Member of Parliament for Medina Constituency, Francis-Xavier Sosu (ESQ), says the church’s role in a democratic dispensation is to, among other things, instill a sense of unity and responsibility in its people but not to fuel discordance among them.
The remark came on the back of recent rift that has frustrated the educational sector, where Christian faith-based organisations including the Methodist Church Ghana, Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference and the Ghana Christian Council are backing Wesley Girls High School authorities’ refusal to permit Muslim students observe the just ended Ramadan fast, despite Ghana Education Service’s (GES) directive to the authorities to grant the students the right.
While sharing his thoughts on the issue as a human rights lawyer in one of his articles titled “My Eid-ul-Fitr reflections: human rights and security implications of actions by Wesley Girls SHS and the endorsement by Methodist Church and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference,” the MP noted that conflicts as such have the tendency to degenerate into uncontrollable and destructive phenomenons.
“Violent religious conflict affects communities and societies in various ways. People get killed and maimed and others left wounded. Businesses are destroyed and the economy dips into irredeemable recessions as such conflicts affect productivity in all sectors, several churches, mosques, schools, vehicles private homes and hospitals among many others are destroyed by fundamentalists,” he spelled out.
Considering the stance of the Christian faith based organizations on the issue, he stressed that “It is necessary for such Christian religious organizations to not only seek to obey the laws of the land, but exhibit a strong sense of commitment towards religious tolerance and accompanying freedoms as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of the Republic.”
“The Church has a responsibility to unite the nation particularly at this critical period of time, as the nation battles with socio-economic and development challenges instead of seek to divide us further particularly on religious grounds,” he added.
In his concluding remarks lawyer Xavier Sosu noted that “tolerating each other’s religion and religious practices would not in any way reduce our own commitment and obligation to God/Allah.”