Ghanaian Bishops say ‘worship ban’ over COVID-19 is discriminatory
London, March 17, 2020 (AltAfrica)-A Ghanaian Christian Bishops group has accused government of bias through a ban placed on churches and places of worship following the outbreak of coronavirus while allowing night clubs to operate
Ghana’s President announced the ban this week after the country recorded more cases of the virus.
The four-week ban on churches and places of worship also extends to public gatherings and schools but not night clubs.
The Ghana Charismatic Bishops’ Conference appears unhappy with night clubs that have been left out.
In a statement it called the ban “arbitrary” and “discriminatory”, while faulting the government for not consulting extensively before the ban.
The Christian body said the President’s decision “smacks of a disregard of the importance of the church’s role in the country.”
“We find it unfortunate that important church groupings such as the Ghana Charismatic Bishops’ Conference, National Association of Charismatic & Christian Churches, and Ghana Pentecostal Council have not been engaged in the making of this announcement.
The arbitrary closure of churches and places of worship without consultation or discussion for 4 weeks, smacks of a disregard of the importance of the church’s role in the country.
This disregard of the place of this powerful social and religious institution, to which over 70% of Ghanaians belong, is wrong,” the Conference said in its statement.
The Catholic church also said “Churches own and run a significant part of the health infrastructure and hospitals in the nation.
As the announcement has gone forth to close down activities of these churches, shall we assume that the health facilities which these churches run are also to close down?”
The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference wants the government to act without fear or favor, by shutting down all social interaction centres “and not to discriminate by closing down churches, schools and institutions which they deem frivolous or dispensable in the society.”
Ghana has so far recorded at least six cases of coronavirus and has imposed a travel ban to prevent further spread.