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09.03.2009 Regional News

Chief bans Jehovah's Witnesses from local cemetery

By myjoyonline

The Chief of Akyem Asene near Oda in the Eastern Region, is reported to have banned members of the Jehovah's Witness sect from burying their dead in the township.

According Nana Armah Daadom II, members of the sect have refused to pay funeral donations to bereaved families in the township.

Nana Daadom II told ASEMPA FM in an interview that the church's refusal to pay donations is an attempt by their members to stop contributing to the development of the town since a percentage of the donation is spent on development projects while the remaining is paid to the bereaved families.

He said the church is alleged to have taken the decision based on their beliefs and on the Bible which they say instructs them so and on a correspondence the local church has allegedly received from their 'head office'.

Asked whether the elders had made contacts with the Oda district office of the church to ascertain the veracity of such a letter, Nana Daadom indicated that they the elders will be meeting on Tuesday with officials of the church and the district assembly to further deliberate on the matter.

The chief said if the church remains adamant after the discussions, the ban will still be in force.

Meanwhile, an Elder of the Kwashieman branch of Jehovah's Witnesses, Elder Obeng Mensah has told ASEMPA FM that, the church does not see why donations meant for bereaved families would be taxed.

He emphasized that so long as the chief and his elders decide to use part of the donation on projects in the area, the church will not be a part of those contributions.

Jerry Tsatro Mordy (ASEMPA FM)