The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) has supported the directive by the Police Administration to religious leaders to desist from publishing prophetic messages that could harm others and disturb the public peace.
The General Secretary of GPCC, the Reverend Emmanuel T. Barrigah has told the Ghana News Agency that the call by the Police Administration was in order.
“Prophecies in themselves are expected to edify and glorify God and where there is the need to also rebuke those who might have fallen foul of the law of God, we should not hesitate to do so,” he said.
“Where prophecies become a threat or become a prediction of death and harm, there is a question mark on those kinds of prophecies.”
Rev Barrigah said he could not fathom why end-of-year prophecies were mostly centered on negative issues and not positive ones that would propel national unity and prosperity.
“We must stop those doomsday and death prophecies. Why is it that we can only predict harm and death and not positive things?” he asked.
Rev. Barrigah urged the Christian community to be careful and measured in their celebration of the New Year, bearing in mind the presence of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19.
He said the GPCC had issued a circular to its members, encouraging them to, as much as possible, hold out¬door services to usher in the New Year.
“We have also asked them to ensure that all the preventive protocols, including hand-washing, hand sanitising, and wearing of nose masks, are strictly observed in addition to sanitising all the things we use at the church,” he said.
The police on Monday urged religious groups and leaders to be measured in the communication of prophecies that could spark panic and controversy.
With the public interest in mind, the police stated that religious freedom is still subject to Ghana’s laws ahead of December 31 watch night services, which are known for delivering prophecies by men of God.
“Over the years, communication of prophecies of harm, danger and death, by some religious leaders, have created tension and panic in the Ghanaian society and put the lives of many people in fear and danger,” police said in a statement.
The police warned further that “it is a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, where that person has no evidence to prove that the statement, rumour or report is true.”
“It is also a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life-saving service or to endanger the safety of any person,” the statement added.
A person found guilty under these laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years.
Source: Daily Mail GH with additional files from wires