The 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Ocquaye has welcomed the decision by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to clamp down on all ‘illegal’ churches in the capital. According to Professor Mike Ocquaye the City Authorities must intervene to regulate the level of noise making by Churches to balance the interest of all Ghanaians.
He said the activities of some churches in residential areas and other communities is greatly causing nuisance and also affecting the work of many people in the communities in which the churches operate. “It is time we really thought about this thing carefully, it is affecting Doctors, Nurses and other people in various residential areas where this noise level is going on. I believe that whilst we all worship God, God actually enjoins us to love our neighbors and if you prevent your neighbor from sleep, do you love that neighbor? So I think it is time churches themselves put sanctions on themselves and if this fails the appropriate authorities must intervene to balance the interest of all Ghanaians”.
The Chief Executive Officer of AMA, Alfred Vanderpuije told Citi FM on Sunday September 5 that his outfit would soon take pragmatic measures to close down all ‘illegal churches’ in Accra. The Accra Mayor revealed to Citi FM that about ninety percent (90%) of churches in Accra are without permit to operate from their various locations adding that most of these churches are noted for noise making which causes nuisance to the community. Speaking to host of Citi Breakfast Show Benard Avle, Professor Mike Ocquaye who is also a Reverend Minister said Christians are not lawless people so any church which does not register must be severely dealt with.
Prof. Mike Ocquaye said churches have taken advantage of the fact that most people fear to criticize the church because they might be seen as anti Christ. A former Boss of the Accra Metropolitan Authority, Nat Nunoo Amarteifio also told Citi FM that many Ghanaians are scared of being attacked by pastors when criticized of the level of noise their churches make.
“Most Ghanaians are afraid of being called satanic, most Ghanaians are afraid of criticizing churches and when you do raise your voice against this noise and as many people will attest, the moment you raise your voice that you are being disturbed, they immediately start calling you names and organize their congregants to harass you molest you”. He added that the AMA’s decision to clamp down on illegally situated churches in residential areas and other communities is a step in the right direction.