The Afrikania Mission, a traditional religious organisation, has called on Ghana government to stop what it calls the “Christian indoctrination of children in all government-funded schools”.
It said it was unfair for the government to pay teachers to indiscriminately foist the doctrines of one religion on the future leaders of a multi-religious country, irrespective of the religions of their parents.
“This situation, apart from being unacceptable in a secular state, deprives the children of their human rights,” it stated.
In a memorandum issued to the chairman of the Committee on Religious and Moral Education, the mission said children must be given their inalienable right to make their own choice of religion when they grew up.
It said that was the situation that pertained in all countries, especially in Europe and the Americas.
It said the government must stop teachers from forcing children to learn and say Christian prayers and sing Christian hymns in government-funded schools.
“Parents must be allowed to conscientise their children in the religion(s) of their choice,” it said, adding that “the present system of compelling children into a particular religion in the schools puts a wedge between the children and their parents in respect of religious beliefs and practices”.
The memorandum explained that the practice of teaching Christian religion in schools had resulted in disrespect for non-Christian parents by their Christian-indoctrinated children.
It said the persistent Christian indoctrination of the youth had not yielded any desirable results for the country, as it had made children wayward and predisposed to crime and immorality.
“As an African country, the government of Ghana must, as a matter of policy, see to the teaching and learning of African Traditional Religion (ATR) as a separate discipline in schools, colleges and universities in the country,” it said.
It said the present situation where ATR was made a mere adjunct to the study of foreign religions debased the importance of ATR in the minds of both tutors and students.
It said what made the situation worse was that a pass in ATR was no longer accepted by the state universities as an entry requirement.
“This is unfair and discriminatory. This situation must be corrected as a matter of urgency. ATR must also be accepted as a university entry requirement in an African country as Ghana,” it stressed.
It said every true religion must emerge from the traditions and culture of the people concerned and added that because foreign religions were not grounded in the traditions and culture of the people, they must be rejected outright.