Reverend Professor Elom Dovlo of the Department of Religions, University of Ghana, has cautioned politicians against using religion as bait for luring people into voting for them.
He said the Fourth Republic began with fervent prayers from well meaning Ghanaians for a God-fearing leader and this had led to a lot of politicians now professing to be chosen by God to lead the country.
Rev. Prof. Dovlo gave the warning on Thursday when he gave an inaugural lecture on the topic “Public religion in Ghana’s fourth republic: impressions and prospects.”
The lecture was part of several other scholarly lectures being organised by the university for this academic year.
He said it was worrying that politics in the country was currently thriving on religion because most Ghanaians are gullible and tended to follow any politician who claimed to be God-fearing.
“There are a lot of people claiming to be have been called by God, forgetting that although many are called only few are chosen”, he said.
Rev. Prof. Dovlo said in view of the fact that politics was thriving on religion, most Ghanaians were subjected to a psychological torture of an impending war every election year and therefore asked to pray to avert the situation.
“This should not be the situation at all because religion should be considered a private matter in most secular states”, he said.
He was, however, of the opinion that since religion had become nebulous, it was imperative that politicians were endorsed based on their love for the country and not their claims as being religious and God-fearing.
“Because the concept of God-fearing has become nebulous, politicians claiming that concept should rather prove that they are peace loving people who desire the good of the country”, he added.
Re. Prof. Dovlo again cautioned religious leaders against making certain utterances.
“Religious leaders should be mindful of how they handle public religion because they are opinion leaders whose utterances can make or unmake the country”, he said.
He asked them to as much as possible, keep their partisanship private so as not to be seen to be biased.