As Ghanaians ready themselves to welcome the dawn of a new year (2010) the country’s religious leaders and bodies have sent New Year messages to the nation, which primarily impress on the citizenry to adopt positive attitudes and lifestyles to ensure socio-economic advancement.
The common theme that runs through the messages is unity, love, respect for one another and reconciliation.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Yaw Frimpong-Manso, Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana, has stressed the need for a welfare system which caters for the weak and vulnerable in society.
He said the nation and the church have to be concerned with the ever-increasing numbers of the aged, widows and orphans who need “our material and spiritual support in this time of their lives.”
In a New Year message on the theme “Christ; the True Model of leadership,” Rev Dr. Frimpong-Manso who is also the moderator of the Presbyterian Church called on the citizenry to support the leaders of the country irrespective of their political offiliations to promote the development of the nation.
“Let us rise up and demonstrate a high level of commitment towards uprooting bribery and corruption and greed,” he added.
On the environment, the moderator said the ecological crisis which was making vast areas of the planet uninhabitable and hostile needed to be addressed, stressing that indiscriminate disposed of waste, bush burning and environmental degradation resulting in considerable damage to life and property must be checked.
Rev. Dr. Frimpong-Manso entreated people in conflict zones of the country.
THE Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, the Very Rev. Fr. Francis Adoboli, has appealed to the public to give respect to one another irrespective of one’s age or biological relations.
The same respect, he said, should be given to those in authority be it at places of work, an environment or institution that one finds oneself.
In a New Year message to the nation Very Rev. Adoboli described as “not the best,” the level of disrespect that was shown to people in some circles.
Referring to some radio discussion programmes, he noted that some some of the panelists digressed from the main topic for discussion to rain insults on or make abusive statements about people in authority.
Such behaviour, he said did not augur well for peace and stressed that with the coming year it was important that respect and honour was given to all, not only in family relations, but at places of work as well as those in authority.
‘Respect is well captured in the bible from one generation to the other; for instance in Exodus 20:12 and corresponding verses in Deuteronomy 5: 16,’ respect is spelt out clearer, where it is emphatic that one’s day shall be long on earth if one shows respect,” Very Rev. Adoboh said, adding that respect goes beyond biological parents or peers.
Calling for forgiveness, Very Rev. Adoboli said “to air is human and to forgive is divine,” and added that though it was very difficult to forgive, one was usually relieved when one forgave another for a wrongful act, just as “we expect God to also forgive us.”
He has therefore appealed to all to forgive one another irrespective of the gravity of the offence. He also appealed to people in trouble spots to be at peace with one another.
At flash points and conflict zones especially across Africa, Very Rev. Adoboli called for peace, forgiveness and tolerance towards one another.
Pastor Mensah Otabil, General Overseer, of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) declares 2010 will be a BREAKTHROUGH year.
He said a breakthrough is significant and dramatic overcoming of an obstacle. For those who set their hearts to seek God and walk in His ways, He will grant them the grace to move mountains and wisdom to devise creative solutions to their problems” he said in his new year message to the nation. What was considered too hard and impossible to achieve he said will be achieved, adding “As the Lord brought down the walls of Jericho in the days of Joshua so shall He cause walls of resistance to fall before His people.”
The General Overseer said that, “that does not mean that God will do everything and we do nothing. On the contrary, the grace of God opens our minds in very resourceful ways. We see solutions where we have always seen problems. We see answers where we have always seen questions. We see opportunity where we have always seen obstacles.”
He said as we usher in this New Year, I pray for the release of the spirit of Breakthrough over this nation. I Pray that our homes, schools and workplaces will come alive with a new enterprising spirit and hope for the future”
The Church of Pentecost has urged Ghanaians to rid themselves of the “filthy garb” of mutual suspicion, back-stabbing, mistrust and the seemingly institutionalized “pull him-down” syndrome.
In a New Year message, its chairman, Dr. Apostle Opoku Onyinah said: “A nation that destroys its human resources through the assassination of their character condemns itself forever to the primitive state of development, instead of reaping the benefits of progressive development.”
“When we deny and therefore, reject the unique qualities and roles of others in our national aspirations we unwittingly reject the very crucial contributions they bring to bear on the attainment of national goals” the church stressed.”
The message added that Ghana needs every gifted individual to help sustain political stability and to propel the engine of economic development.
The church said for the nation to change its image from that of a dependent nation into one of self-sufficiency, it would need to renew psycho by developing a practical work ethic that would enable it to harness its God-given resources to meet individual and national needs.
All workers, both in the private and public sectors, must display their Christianity to their employers by their faithfulness, loyalty and commitment to duty,” the church said.
Likewise, it appealed to employers to portray Christ-likeness by treating their subordinates and domestic assistants with respect.
In his message, the Rt. Rev. Francis Amenu, The Moderator of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church thanked God for granting the country a successful and peaceful 2008/2009 Presidential election that served as a firm foundation for all its stable engagements. He also praised God for successfully seeing Ghana and her various institutions including the faith entities through 2009, even in the wake of the stressful global economic crisis. Rt. Rev. Amenu commended Ghanaians for their great effort in prompting a stable democratic environment in the country.
He however expressed concern about the state of lawlessness, apathy and despondency that are increasingly gaining notoriety in the society, saying, “criminals are no longer scared of sanctions for the mere fact that they may go scot-free if caught by the law because of their affiliation to some powerful and influential people in authority.”
He said: “Clearly visible in our communities are lackadaisical attitude to work, poor time-culture, reckless driving on our roads, lack of respect for authority, filth engulfing our streets and other public places, indiscriminate building on water-ways and unauthorized places, indiscriminate destruction of our vegetation, haphazard sand and stone winning activities, pollution and degradation of the environment leading to severe climate change, cyber-crime, substance abuse, enslavement to occultism, inordinate desire to amass wealth through fair or foul means and other acts of indiscipline which are capable of discouraging investment opportunities and thereby reversing the clock of progress of our country.”
Rt. Rev. Amenu said the country’s capital city and other major towns and cities need face-lifting through strategic planning. However he stressed, this effort requires team-work and concerted action by all stake-holders in the society.
“In order to achieve our developmental goals and raise the bar of development among the community of emerging economies, government must be committed to the political will of enforcing existing laws of the land and meting out appropriate sanctions to offenders without fear or favour.
“As a nation we have a task at hand. There is the fervent need for government regulatory bodies, the media, and civil society organisations, including religious bodies to rise to the task in collaborating with the government in unity and sense of purpose to propel the country to greater heights,” the moderator stressed.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana called on Ghanaians to renew their resolve to live in peace with one another as they enters the new year.
Giving this admonition on behalf of the mission in Accra yesterday Maulvi M. Yusuf Yawson the Acting Amir said, “as brothers and sisters, we should know that God created us in tribes and clans to that we will know one another and live in peace.”
“Lets us give peace a chance; God did not create us to clash on ethnic or tribal grounds and cause chaos,” he said.
Maulvi Yawson prayed that “Allah will usher us into the new year with the spirit of self-discipline, dedication and devotion to the service of the nation and Allah.”
He said Ghanaians should resolve to be more upright and live exemplary lives “so that we will become the children of God for whom the heavens will welcome.”
Acting Amir urged people entrusted with the responsibility to steer the affairs of the country to live up to expectations to justify the trust reposed on them.
Maulvi Yawson asked for Allah’s blessing and guidance for the President and his cabinet to have the wisdom to take good decisions for the benefit and the general good of the whole country.
He also urged Ghanaians to rally behind the government by giving it the needed support to lead the country to prosperity.
The Acting Amir also urged the opposition parties to cooperate with the government for the benefit of the country and not for the sake of partisanship.
“Opposition keeps the government on its toes and makes it responsible and accountable to the people,” he added.
On behalf of the mission Maulvi Yawson wished Ghanaians a prosperous 2010.