Start Taxing Churches, God Will Not Frown

Feature Article Start Taxing Churches, God Will Not Frown

The issue of taxing religious institutions, particularly churches, is a sensistive and controversial subject that many may not like to have a discourse of.Ghanaians are very religious people and it will interest you to know that studies indicate Christianity has over 71 percent subscribers, tailed by Islam.Islam however is the fastest growing religion in the world.Considering the fact that Muslims tend to raise bigger families than Christians,Islam in some decades will become the biggest religion in Ghana and the world. Studies of censuses made in Ghana (200,2010,2021) indicate a trend of a steady elevation in the Muslim population and by 2096,Islam is likely going to be the most dominant religion in the country.

It is becoming common knowledge that religiousity is mostly the highest in the poorest and underdeveloped countries and Ghana is not an exception.

I may not be wrong generalising that the average Ghanaian is conversant with the importance of taxes.Therefore it will be needless to argue that taxing churches can contribute to national development, promote fairness, and ensure accountability.

I equally share in the opinion that churches play a crucial spiritual and social role in the society.As much as moral decadence is on the ascendancy, the church is still an important institution in moulding people away from deviancy.But I find the opinion of exempting the church from taxation as just sentimental because the bible ,which is the manual of the Christian faith,endorses taxes and Jesus paid taxes himself.

In Matthew 17:24-27 when Christ was asked if he would pay the temple tax, he instructed Peter to pay it on his behalf.Magnifying the importance of fulfilling civic duties, including taxation.

"But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours." (Matthew 17:27, NIV)

Secondly, in Mark 12:13-17 addressing a question about paying taxes to the Roman government, Jesus said, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s." This indicates a clear distinction between civic obligations and religious duties.

The Apostle Paul clearly instructs Christians to pay taxes, recognizing the authorities as God's servants who devote themselves to governing.Romans 13:6-7 states "This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

It is however puzzling that some of our churches vehemently take exception to this value adding civic responsibility.It has become an area that they won't allow a discussion about.Some tend to instigate fear of doom from God or resort to diverse forms of emotional blackmail.

I for one is of the conviction that God is not going get angry that the church is being taxed.Even Jesus,who is the "church itself" endorsed and paid taxes because it is the right thing to do.It comes with ripple effects.

When the tax net is expanded and taxes are used judiciously, our standard of living as a country will be better. People will have access to better education, there will be more job opportunities for the unemployed youth,crime rates will fall and the church's objectives in the longterm will be actualized.Why will this get God angry? Do you think a God of order will be offended Christians fulfill their tax obligations and better their lives?

Taxing churches could provide a significant source of revenue for Ghana, helping fund critical sectors such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure.This will lead to national development.

Churches often generate substantial income through tithes, offerings, and other activities. Taxing them ensures they contribute their fair share to the nation's economy, just like other income-generating entities. It would necessitate financial transparency from churches, curbing potential misuse of funds and ensuring that they are used for genuine charitable and religious purposes.It will protect the church from being desecrated and used as an avenue of money laundering and more.

As there is the likelihood of some entities exploiting religious tax exemptions to avoid paying taxes, taxing churches may help mitigate such abuses, ensuring that only genuine religious activities benefit from certain privileges.

Germany, Switzerland, Sweden,Finland
Some of the countries we take a lot of aid from have various taxes for churches.Why do we only take aid and not learn from them?

By taxing churches, Ghana can promote fairness, generate revenue for critical sectors, ultimately fostering a more equitable and prosperous society.

Let's tax the church and build a better Ghana.God ia not going to send down fire and brimstone on us.Start taxing the churches,God will not frown.

Long Live Mother Ghana
Dumenu Charles Selorm

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Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024