The Acting Dean of International Programmes at the University of Ghana has said opening up churches when the country’s Covid-19 cases are rising is a potential recipe for disaster.
Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo said the President easing the ban on social gatherings to allow churches and mosques to open to congregants leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
“…should a church whether big or small ignore the directives of the President, would there be a need for a police presence at the premises?” she quizzed on the Super Morning Show, Monday.
“There would have to be regulation and people who are non-compliant will have to face whatever consequence. This means you are going to have to send the police there.
“The minute you bring the police together with a large crowd of people of opposing views, it’s most often a recipe for disaster. You can just look at what is happening with protests in the US.”
Prof. Ampofo said she can’t see the police arresting leaders from the likes of IGCG and Action Chapel but “I can see that again, the vulnerable, the churches where nobody is known, where there are a lot of young people or they cannot even speak English, are less educated, those that it’s easy to pick on would be the places that the police would have more power to do what it is that they need to do.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo in his 10th address to the nation announced that churches and mosques can re-open from June 5 with 100 congregants.
They are to open for an hour per session.
But the Professor of African and Gender Studies also raised concerns regarding how the one-hour church services would be organised.
“If we want to meet with other believers how on earth are we going to control the 100 people? If 150 show up what are you going to do with the other 50? In my church, of the 300 or so members, maybe six people come in cars.
“The rest come by public transport. What are you going to do with them when they arrive? Where will we put them? If church service is supposed to start at 7:30am? How would we count the hour? Will we start counting it at 8:30am if 100 have shown up and continue meeting till 9:30am, making it two hours?” she wanted to know.
She added that “for many churches, once the President says that we can start meeting on the June 7, we Christians would probably interpret it as we should start meeting on June 7and put pressure on our leaders.”
“I’m mindful of the fact that the Bible says where two or three people are gathered. The Lord is there with us. But God himself says that he doesn’t dwell in buildings put together by human hands. He doesn’t need us to congregate in buildings.”
“So it is not for God that we will be going to church. It is for our own, may I say, selfish interest.”