Bawumia: Religion must not divide Ghanaians

The vice president says religion "should bring us together as a people. We must see religion as a force for unity and not a force for division"

The Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said religion must not divide Ghanaians, but should rather be “a force for unity.”

Launching the 175th anniversary celebrations of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Ghana (EPCG), he called on Ghanaians to view and utilise the various religious inclinations as a force for good and a facilitator of national cohesion.

“As children of the only and one true God, whether Christian or Muslim, we all believe in the God of Isaac, Jacob and Abraham. We all believe in the virgin birth of Mary. We all believe that Jesus Christ is the savior and that Jesus Christ will come back again to save the world,” Bawumia said.

“This is what should bring us together as a people. We must see religion as a force for unity and not a force for division. This is a charge we must keep as children of God,” he said on Sunday (31 July 2022).

Ghana’s unique acceptance and peaceful co-existence is the envy of many across the world and must be guarded jealously, Dr Bawumia said, with the country retaining its peaceful credentials in a recent global survey.

“In addition to the economic and development issues that the church must be concerned with is the need for the church and pulpit to be used as instruments for a peaceful nation building. According to the recent Global Peace Index, Ghana maintains its position as the second most peaceful country in sub-Saharan Africa and the most peaceful in West Africa.

“This is a remarkable feat that must be guarded jealously without any compromises no matter what. Both the Bible and Quran place much emphasis on the matter of peace. And it is gratifying to note that in Ghana we have such a religious tolerant and acceptable society that makes it effortless for a Christian priest to worship with Muslims and vice versa, to the point that a Muslim Chief Imam could celebrate his 100th years anniversary with Christians in the church.”

Citing himself as an example to buttress his point of peaceful co-existence, Bawumia added: “We live in a society where a mother and some children could be Christians and a father and some children could be Muslims. As a young boy at Sakasaka primary school in Tamale I was born by a Methodist mother (then Susuana Mariama) and a Muslim father. Growing up I was an active member of the Methodist Boys’ Brigade until my mum changed to Islam. I suspect I am the only Muslim member of the Boys’ Brigade. Till date, out of my sibling size of 17, nine are Christians and eight Muslims. That is the beauty of the religious acceptance in Ghana.”

EP Church Ghana

Dr Bawumia commended the church for its enormous contribution to national cohesion and development, saying it has been a “reliable, trusted, and formidable agent of the transformation, civilization, and progress of society. The gains we have made as a nation pre- and post-independence in moral, spiritual and socio-economic development could not have been entirely possible without the keen involvement of the church.”

“Indeed, we cannot mention any monumental contributions of the church to nation-building without recognising the role of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Ghana. In addition to your numerous educational establishments including over 500 basic and tertiary institutions such as Mawuli, Mawuko, EP Senior High Schools in Hohoe, Saboba, Tatale, plus Vocational and Technical Schools, as well as Colleges of Education, you have also earned the enviable reputation of establishing the first university in the entire Volta and Oti Regions, the Evangelical Presbyterian University College (EPUC).

“Your health centres in Wapuli, Ho, Dambai, Blajai, inter alia, coupled with your numerous relief and development projects in the areas of agricultural development, climate change advocacy, HIV/AIDS & TB Programmes, among several others, have added to your endless list of achievements over the past seventeen and half decades of your existence,” he said.

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