A disturbing trend which seems to cut across the various religious spectra is the seemingly insensitive posturing of the activities in these religious places of worship as far as the community is concerned. It’s becoming apparent up and down this country that any religious activity that is tagged with God’s/Allah’s name has become synonymous to ‘insensitivity’ to the inhabitants of the community in which these activities take place. However I am of a firm belief that God/Allah is timely, orderly, sensitive, discipline and would expect no less of us his followers.
It’s the early 2000s and as a Pharmacy student in KNUST resident in the University Hall (aka Katanga Hall), my typical day like many of my colleagues starts around 7am and involves spending very long hours in lecture rooms and moving on to the various laboratories to bring most of what was taught in the lecture rooms to life. So intense and involving is the day that one gets back to the hall mostly around 6pm or beyond and completely shattered and this is only the first part of the day.
As was the routine for myself and a few of my study mates, we would dash back to the hall and find something to eat, freshen up and get some 2 hours of sleep hoping to get back to the faculty around 9pm to start attending to some of the many assignments and laboratory reports expected to be submitted the next day and of course attempt to also catch up with some of the things taught earlier on in the day.
This 2 or so hours of sleep is always at risk of being messed-up if one is not fortunate to have roommate(s) who are on similar schedule; otherwise pray that he respects and appreciates your tough schedule enough not to decide to listen to the new ‘Azonto’ remix by Sarkodie at the loudest volume of his turbo speakers at this time.
Barring any hitches with any of the above arrangements, one may be able to ‘mine’ deep into night; hope to return around 3am to catch some 3 hours of sleep and wake up at 6am to start another day all over again. Just when one may be sinking into any deep sleep is when somebody could be heard shouting (preaching) on top of his voice, pacing up and down the veranda right in front of our rooms in the name of dawn broadcasting between 4-5am. A few of my floor mates and I would sometimes out of frustration and anger shout at them to leave. The response we would normally receive is: ‘we doing the work of God’.
Akropong, a suburb of Kumasi in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti region; home to the famous Darko Farms Poultry products was where I once resided. Within about 40-meter radius to my exact residence were 2 churches, a ‘mini’ mosque and a local drinking pub. Its quiet hard to believe that for these 2 churches and many others across the country, there always seem to be an activity every day of the week most of which travel very deep into the night with speaker blaring at their highest amplitudes. Surprisingly it’s mostly only a hand full of congregants who would rationally not even need someone to shout because they are within such close hearing range let alone someone with a microphone shouting on top of his voice and this very much applies to the mini mosque too.
It’s certainly obvious that various central and local governmental agencies tasked to supervise/regulate the activities of such facilities have failed us, but may I ask and do I take it that the leaders of these churches/mosques are aware of and approve of these ‘overly-high-pitched sounds at such odd hours, because in their view they are serving God/Allah? Are we absolutely sure that our timely, orderly, sensitive, discipline Almighty God/Allah approves of service/worship of him in complete disregard of other fellow humans?
So for the sake of the aged to whom sleep has become such a difficult task; that surgeon who has just return from a 16- straight-hour shift saving lives on the operating table; that senior high school female day-student who returns home everyday to a pile of house chores waiting for her and her only hope of studying is by waking up deep in the night, that’s if she could get any good sleep; that nursing mother who has just been discharged home after a Caesarean Section with her baby and could do with some peace and quiet, let us all as religious practitioners of whichever faith learn to be sensitive to the inhabitants of the communities in which we operate.