- The communique should detail steps for dealing with the situation and establish ideal parameters for the practice of religion in the country.
Written By Isaac Aidoo - An alarming phenomenon prevailing in the Christian circles which is unscriptural, unhealthy and very destructive is the absurd behaviours and weird practices of hoaxers calling themselves men of God.
First and foremost, the government, through its machinery and the various channels of communication, should issue a communique on the matter.
The communique should detail steps for dealing with the situation and establish ideal parameters for the practice of religion in the country.
Moreover, a national symposium on the practice of religion should be held for the fathers (religious leaders, chiefs, parliamentarians, academicians, etc.) endowed with wisdom to deliberate on this problem bedeviling the nation.
At the event, the varied views should be consolidated into a religious policy framework. That will further be previewed by Parliament and subsequently promulgated into law. This will augment the existing religious laws for sanity to prevail in the sector.
In addition, regulating the practice of all religious groups in this country will be an efficacious antidote to charlatan pastors in Christian circles. This can be achieved through the various councils of all the religious groups.
For instance, the Christian Council can be resourced to administer and supervise all the members under its jurisdiction.
The council can then work closely with the sub-councils of all the denominations under it, such as the Council for Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches (CPCC).
This will ensure that their respective members practise their faith in conformity with their doctrines, beliefs, tenets, etc. Also, prior to the establishment of any religious group, due diligence should be done by the respective councils.
The statutory regulatory framework on religion must include monitoring and compliance policies. All forms of religious practices must be monitored by respective councils. This will ensure that all persons, in exercising their freedom of worship guaranteed under the Constitution, comply with the regulatory policies.
Those contravening the regulations on the pretext of practising their faith must be sanctioned accordingly. The regulations must disintegrate the practice of religion and the commercialisation of items, that are now intertwined.
These hoodwinkers engage in the sale of ordinary items such as apples, handkerchiefs, bottled water, salt, oils (different colours), etc., tagged as special or holy articles and sold at very exorbitant prices to their congregation.
This must be regulated to ensure that the practice of religion, which is a non-profitable venture and for that matter non-taxable in view of the social services it provides, works distinctly from the sale of items. The merchandising of items must go through due process and authentication.
Other measures that can aid our effort towards the creation of a congenial environment for the practice of religion in this country include the establishment of a religious arbitration body. It should be made up of competent religious personalities.
It will have to deal with all the disputes and unethical behaviours that will arise as people exercise their freedom of worship. It will also unravel the myth surrounding religion and spirituality.
In fact, people are of the view that religious activities are spiritual and spiritual matters cannot be proven in a court of law. So these hoaxers hide behind this assertion and perpetrate evil in the name of religion.
Finally, the security agencies should extend their operations to churches led by such charlatans as they pose serious threats to the lives and security of citizens going about their legitimate endeavours. The security agencies must encumber these criminals.
The approach and effort aimed at curbing the mess prevailing in the Christian circles must be placed as a premium and no consideration must be entertained on partisan or ethnic grounds.
The writer is a Christian bothered by happenings in churches currently.