Ho: Assemblies Of God Sacks Woman After Performing Rituals At Her Mother's Funeral
A 46-year-old woman, Madam Belinda Azimeh, of the Good News Assembly of the Assemblies of God Church, Ho-Fiave branch has been sacked from the church for allegedly taking part in rituals performed during her mother’s burial in April this year.
The mother, until her death, was said to have belonged to the Ayeve Cult group, a situation that necessitated some trivial rituals to be performed during her burial according to the traditions.
When the resident Pastor Albert Akuamoah, was contacted by our reporter, he confirmed the incident and affirmed his decision but declined readiness to be interviewed on radio saying, issues of his church cannot be discussed in the media.
According to Mad. Azimeh, she and the other siblings were requested to be present whilst the rituals were performed, though in the open at the funeral ground. Per the traditions of the Ayeve cult, anyone who wanted to see or go closer to the dead body, must do so without putting on a shirt. Thus, Mad. Azimeh and any other person that had to go closer to the dead body had to do so without their shirts on; but could rap a cloth around themselves up to the upper part of their bodies.
“Before my mother died, she was a member of the Ayeve cult and that’s something we could not have done anything about. Per the traditions, no one is allowed with a shirt to go closer to any dead person from this cult. But that’s my mother and the only way I could get closer to her was to remove my shirts and go in a cloth covering me to my chest.
There was no killing of fowls or any other unique rituals performed apart from the usual drumming and dancing.” She told *Awake News*
My mother was very close to me and I took care of her till her maker called her. How then would one expect me not to go closer to her under the conditions, simply because I am a Christian? -she questioned rhetorically.
The church on the day of the burial sent a delegation to sympathize with her, however, the delegation later turned out to be 'investigators'.
Upon her return to Ho after the funeral, Mad. Azimeh was summoned by the presiding pastor, Pastor Albert Akuamoah in the presence of some elders/deacons and was told that her involvement in activities at the burial are in conflict with the Christian faith (a disgrace to the church) and that she could only continue to be a member of the church only if she goes through another 'new covenants lesson' and be baptized again before she would be accepted back into the church.
The pastor allegedly told her that, he was told per the beliefs of the Ayeve cult, Mad. Azimeh is in line to succeed the mother and be initiated into the cult, hence his decision to make her go through the process of rebaptism.
“When I returned to Ho, I went to thank the church for their support. I was later informed the pastor wanted to see me and I went with Efo – a family member and also a member of the church. We met the pastor and some other deacons, then the pastor said he was told that I took part in some rituals performed at my mother’s funeral, and that I’ve disgraced the church so I have been reduce to the level of a new person who would have to go through lessons and be baptized again, before he’ll accept me as a member of the church again. I tried explaining things to him but he retorted by saying one of my family members also corroborated the story to him and even added that I am in line to replace my mother in the Ayeve cult”.
“A week later, I didn’t go to church because of ill health. So one of the deacons visited me and I asked him about the contributions the church would have to give me as part of my welfare contributions."
"After service, some church members returned from home to inform me that the pastor had announced that I was no longer a member of the church, for my involvement in the ‘rituals’ at my mother’s burial.”
“The deacon in the company of some two others returned that evening to give me an amount of Three Hundred Ghana Cedis (Ghc300.00), as contribution from the church members and welfare that is due me for the demise of my mother.”