Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
VICE PRESIDENT Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has called on Ghanaians to see “religion as a force for unity and not a force for division.”
Dr. Bawumia, who was speaking at the launching of the 175th anniversary celebrations of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Ghana (EPCG), said various religious inclinations must be used to facilitate national cohesion, adding “this is a charge we must keep as children of God.”
“As children of the only and one true God, whether Christian or Muslim, we all believe in the God of Isaac, Jacob and Abraham. We all believe in the virgin birth of Mary. We all believe that Jesus Christ is the savior and that Jesus Christ will come back again to save the world,” he preached on Sunday.
According to him, Ghana’s unique acceptance and peaceful co-existence of the various religious groupings are the envy of many across the world, and urged all and sundry to jealously guard this.
Dr. Bawumia stated that Ghana had retained its peaceful credentials in a recent global survey, saying that in addition to the economic and development issues, the church must use its pulpit as an instrument to promote and build a peaceful nation.
A recent Global Peace Index said Ghana has maintained its position as the second most peaceful country in sub-Saharan Africa, and the most peaceful in West Africa.
“This is a remarkable feat that must be guarded jealously without any compromises no matter what. Both the Bible and Quran place much emphasis on the matter of peace.
“And it is gratifying to note that in Ghana we have such a religious tolerant and acceptable society that makes it effortless for a Christian priest to worship with Muslims and vice versa, to the point that a Muslim Chief Imam could celebrate his 100th years anniversary with Christians in the church,” the Vice President posited.
Citing himself as an example to buttress his point of peaceful co-existence, Bawumia added: “We live in a society where a mother and some children could be Christians and a father and some children could be Muslims. As a young boy at Sakasaka Primary School in Tamale, I was born by a Methodist mother (then Susuana Mariama) and a Muslim father. Growing up, I was an active member of the Methodist Boys’ Brigade until my mom changed to Islam.”
“I suspect I am the only Muslim member of the Boys’ Brigade. Till date, out of my siblings, numbering 17, nine are Christians and eight Muslims. That is the beauty of religious acceptance in Ghana.”
Dr. Bawumia commended the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Ghana for its enormous contributions to national cohesion and development.
According to him, the E.P. Church has been a “reliable, trusted, and formidable agent of the transformation, civilisation, and progress of society.”
“In addition to your numerous educational establishments including over 500 basic and tertiary institutions such as Mawuli, Mawuko, EP Senior High Schools in Hohoe, Saboba, Tatale, plus Vocational and Technical Schools, as well as Colleges of Education, you have also earned the enviable reputation of establishing the first university in the entire Volta and Oti Regions, the Evangelical Presbyterian University College (EPUC),” he stressed.
“Your health centres in Wapuli, Ho, Dambai, Blajai, inter alia, coupled with your numerous relief and development projects in the areas of agricultural development, climate change advocacy, HIV/AIDS & TB programmes, among several others, have added to your endless list of achievements over the past seventeen and half decades of your existence,” he said.
BY Ernest Kofi Adu