The First Ghana Christian Book Award has launched to promote writing, reading, publishing and distribution of Christian books.
The Awards programme, which was under the theme: "[email protected] - The Role of the Christian Writer in National Development" would help raise the profile of Ghanaian Christian writers and encourage them in their pursuit of excellence in the art, craft, business and ministry of print communication.
Jude Hammah, General Director of the Scripture Union, said in the new renaissance of Africa, there was the need to build strong moral leadership that would direct the people into achieving a sound development based on integrity and uprightness.
He said considering the current high level of selflessness, worldliness, crime, moral decadence, corruption and general indiscipline in society, one was at a loss as to whether Christians in Ghana actually understood what it meant to be a Christian and how to walk in integrity and uprightness.
"Christianity accounts for 69.1 per cent of Ghana's population, yet the moral decadence of today, if not controlled would create the worst form of monsters in our children that would destroy their whole future," he said.
Mr. Hammah said sound moral knowledge could only be achieved through investment in Christian literature and motivation to these writers to encourage others and further help repair the lost moral value of the country.
He noted that history had shown that kings, nations and empires that had ruled the world in the past had dwelt on the Biblical knowledge either in disguise or openly and this had continued till date, saying it was only when a nation depended on God's word and direction that it could develop fully.
Mr. Hammah called on the public and all stakeholders to support the programme to make it a success.
The Rev. Dr David K. Nsiah, President of the Prevailing Prayer Ministries, who chaired the programme, said the award was expected to bring together writers, publishers and distributors of Christian books for national development by preserving and promoting access to a broad range of knowledge, experience, information, teamwork and ideas.
He listed the award categories as prayer and devotion, marriage relationship, evangelism and mission, church and pastoral work, Christian living, Christian fiction and poetry, patriotism and biography.
The others are children and youth, juvenile writer, French writer, leading distributors of Christian books, leading publishing house, essay competition and overall best book. The competition, though targeted at the Christian community, is opened to all the public.
He stressed that the eligibility criteria required that the book must promote the Christian faith and must be available on the market.
Rev. Dr. Nsiah said interested writers were to pick entry forms, complete and submit them together with two original copies of their books to any of the branches of the Banner of Love Christian Resources.
He congratulated Victor Owusu, an Engineer, who is the brain behind the establishment of the awards programme and called for sponsorship from companies, agencies and individuals to ensure the sustenance of the programme.