Churches have been advised to become bearers of peace messages as the country prepares for the December 7 general election, to help educate the public on the importance of sustainable reconciliation.
Venerable Ebenezer Laryea, the Parish Priest of the St Barnabas Anglican Church and the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Province of the Church gave the advice in an interview with GNA.
He was speaking after a gospel music festival organised by the mission, as part of the activities marking the 90th Anniversary celebrations of the Church.
He said churches should make peace message a central part of their sermon as any disruption in the political process would affect everybody regardless of ones political affiliation
“Every church should be a bearer of the peace message, how can you worship in a disrupted nation.
“Look at neighbouring countries such as, Liberia, Sierra Leone where they have been affected by war, they wished it never happened but it did.
“The loss of lives, the psychological scars and the trauma they went through They failed to appreciate the peace they were enjoying. The churches should use their platforms to educate its members on the need to have peace before, during and after elections.
“Election is not about war, it’s about choice. The word of God is all about peace. We have had series of elections before.
“We have had elections in this country before so the pastors must use the opportunity they have to always talk about peace to their congregants. As we pursue our civil role it’s our responsibility to pursue the peace agenda as Christians,” he said.
Venerable Laryea said it would be difficult for any nation disrupted by war to have access to basic services and therefore appealed to all to make peace message an essential part of the national discourse.
“How can you have basic things like water, food, electricity when there is war? Infrastructural development would automatically come to a standstill. War torn countries have lagged behind in terms of development.
“We should therefore pursue peace and live together as one people, in our interactions with others we must think of Ghana first.”
The Parish priest attributed the high level of moral decay of some of the youth in the society to irresponsible parenting.
He said: “One of the major challenges we are confronted with as a nation today is irresponsible parenting. Parents have shirked their responsibilities especially child training.
“Even though stakeholders such as the church, the school, government, opinion leaders are all playing their roles to help raise children, greater role is expected of parents but most parents have left the responsibility of nurturing their children to chance,” he emphasised.
He noted that despite the positive role of social media, the youth should be guided to enable them use it in a positive way rather than using it for negative purposes.
He asked the youth not to allow themselves to be used as instrument to foment trouble, but rather be used as agent of peace.