Catholic Bishops in Ghana have warned the country’s Christians and all Ghanaians for that matter, to steer clear of false prophets and their prophecies as the New Year approaches.
In a December 17 Christmas Pastoral letter signed by the Most Reverend Philip Naameh, Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale, and President of the Ghana Episcopal Conference, the clerics said the peace Christ brings “cannot be experienced if false prophecies and prophetic utterances continue to be entertained in our country as the new norm.”
“In recent years, especially during the season of Christmas leading into the new year, there have been too many false prophecies made of which some have created fear, panic, and tensions in our society,” the letter states.
A few examples here may suffice. As Ghana prepares for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to be played in Cameroon, a Ghanaian prophet has prophesied doom for the Black Stars.
The Ghana Football team are hoping to lift the continental trophy after forty years, but Prophet Ogya Nyame, Founder and Leader of Shining Grace Chapel believes this won’t be possible without recourse to some form of spiritual cleansing.
“In this upcoming AFCON, Black Stars need a serious spiritual direction from a powerful man of God, and the direction will require a huge cow to reverse the bad luck,” the Prophet said during a Church service in Tamale.
“If they fail to do that, even in the group stages, they will struggle to progress,” he asserted.
Even more sinister was the prophecy made by one Bishop Stephen Akwasi alias Jesus Ahuofe on one of Ghana’s famous musicians in the dancehall genre, Shatta Wale.
In a September 27, 2021, radio interview, the General Overseer of New Life Kingdom Chapel International mentioned that Shatta will be shot dead on October 18, 2021, the same way legendary reggae singer, Lucky Dube was shot on October 18th, 2007. The said Prophet has since been arrested.
Such prophecies, which cause fear amongst the population, go against Ghanaian law. In October, the Ghana Police Service declared a crackdown on such prophecies. According to the Director of Public Affairs at the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent, Alexander Kweku Obeng, prophecies fall within the category of “false publications” and therefore an affront to the law.
“The Law is against false publication. Therefore, if you make your publication publicly without evidence, then you’ve breached the law and the law will deal with you,” he said.
But the prophets seem not to buy into that. Reacting to Catholic Bishops’ concern that some of the prophecies “have created fear, panic, and tensions in our society,” Prophet Nigel Gaisie, Founder and Leader of the Prophetic Hill Chapel has dismissed claims prophecies cause panic in society.
“Anybody that says [our prophecies cause fear and panic], I think that person is carnal because the work we are doing is not academic, it is not intellectual, it is spiritual. I have never seen any Ghanaian prophet take a gun and go shoot somebody physically.”
Still, Catholic Bishops believe Ghanaians need to be wary of false prophets and have cautioned Christian ministers against indulging in such false prophecies.
“As another Christmas approaches ushering us into the New Year, we wish to encourage all Christian ministers to desist from giving false prophecies and from other such practices which only tend to discredit the Christian church and the Gospel of Christ,” the clerics said.
“We also encourage Christians and indeed, all Ghanaians to cherish the values of hard work, patient endurance, perseverance, moderation, and contentment, and not allow themselves to be led astray by false prophecies and prophetic utterances,” the letter entreated.
The Christmas message also touched on an array of other issues, including the inert-ethnic conflicts in parts of the country.
“We are also gravely disturbed about the resurgence of the age-old Bawku conflict, which resurfaces at every least instance of disagreement. We call on the fomenters of this conflict and others such as the Doba-Kandiga conflict, also in the Upper East Region to stop their machinations and desist from such actions in the future.”
The Clerics further addressed themselves to Ghana’s politically divided parliament, decrying the recent quarrels over the 2022 budget of the state. For the first time since the reintroduction of multi-party politics in Ghana in 1992, parliament voted to reject the budget in what the clerics thought was a politically driven vote that had nothing to do with the interests of Ghanaians.
“We are equally distressed by some of the recent happenings in our House of Parliament, in particular, events which have occurred in the aftermath of the presentation of the Government Budget and Financial Statement for next year, 2022, events which run contrary to the peace that Christ brings to all humanity and to our nation. We are, however, pleased to note that conscious efforts are being made by the leadership of the august House to find an amicable and lasting solution to the impasse that has been occasioned by entrenched positions on our nation’s Budget for next year,” the bishops said.
They also decried the worsening specter of road accidents, noting with dismay that 2,600 people had to die in road crashes in November 2021 alone.
Heading into the New Year, the clerics called on Ghanaians to live in harmony with the environment to restore God’s original intent for man at creation-a sort of Garden of Eden.
“Our natural resources have continuously and carelessly been exploited for economic gains, leading to the current unacceptable levels of pollution and destruction of our arable farmlands and water bodies. As we look forward to the peaceful Kingdom of the Messiah at Christmas wherein creation returns to its original harmonious state, we wish once again to appeal to all Ghanaians as we have done several times in the past, to eschew all selfish, indifferent, and irresponsible ways and actions by which we continue to destroy Ghana’s environment.
In place of these negative attitudes, we must all adopt an attitude of care and responsible stewardship towards our environment by living a new ecological lifestyle characterized by simplicity, moderation, and sobriety in order to save our country’s environment for today and the future.”