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GHANA: Upsurge of Religious Tensions

GHANA: Upsurge of Religious Tensions

At least four churches have been banned from holding services at the Aliu Mahama Stadium in the northern city of Tamale. Stadium authorities have refused to renew their licences to operate, while allowing numerous other religious and political organisations to continue.

In mid-February, the four churches, comprising more than 700 congregants, were given ten days’ notice to evict. Even before that time was up, the electrical power supply was disconnected from areas being used by the churches.

Leaders of the affected churches claim that the action was taken shortly after the stadium was renamed after Ghana’s first Muslim vice-president. They believe the newly implemented ban was a direct attack against the country’s Christian citizens.

More than 70 percent of Ghana’s inhabitants claim to follow Christianity, and the country is generally seen as a model of stability in the midst of the turmoil experienced by surrounding countries. Muslims and Christians have normally resided together peacefully within the same communities.

However, there has been a recent upsurge of Islamic proselytism in the northern areas, particularly aimed at youth. Religious tensions have also been increasing due to a growing intolerance towards Christianity in these Muslim-majority areas.

Sources: Starr News, World Watch Monitor

  • Intercede for the believers of these publicly banned churches, as they seek justice and endeavour to continue meeting together despite this setback.
  • Pray that Ghana’s political authorities will be fair to all the country’s citizens, ensuring no favouritism is shown.
  • May the churches of this nation continue reaching out to those around them with the saving message of Christ’s love for all people.

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CHINA: Banned for ‘Brainwashing’ Children

CHINA: Banned for ‘Brainwashing’ Children

Officials in China’s central Henan province closed down a Christian-run institution dedicated to bringing children up with good morals, saying its religious component “brainwashed” its students.

Ms Zhu, a Christian woman, told a China Aid reporter on 14 September that national security officers arrived at her house in July and confiscated books they’d used for an academy that ran theology classes for children in their home after receiving a tip that the students were being brainwashed with religion.

Additionally, they removed other items belonging to the church, including a computer and banned and closed the academy. Since the ban, the officials have not harassed the church again.

Such prohibitions on teaching religion to children are common in China, despite the Chinese Constitution’s guarantee that all citizens enjoy freedom of belief.

Despite threats from the government, many Chinese adults insist on taking their children to church and other Christian-related activities. In response, the government strengthened its prohibition on children attending religious events in the revised edition of its Regulations on Religious Affairs, scheduled to take effect in February.

Source: China Aid

  • Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of Ms Zhu and of parents who make every effort to bring up their children in the ways of the Lord. Pray they will be in no way discouraged by this incident.
  • Pray for children and youth in China; may they encourage one another in the faith.
  • Pray for those in authority, that they may be moved by the powerful witness of Chinese believers.