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21.12.2010 General News

Gov't must not introduce tax system for churches

By Ghanaian Chronicle
Rev. Joseph Kadmos Baisie (m), Head Pastor, TCWC receiving his Doctorate award on SundayRev. Joseph Kadmos Baisie (m), Head Pastor, TCWC receiving his Doctorate award on Sunday
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THE DIRECTOR of the Pan African Clergy Council (PACC) and Bible Seminary, the Very Rev. Dr. Frederick Akakpo, has cautioned the government not to attempt to rob God, by way of introducing a tax system for churches in the country.

He urged the government to ensure that the oil revenue, which is yet to be generated, should be used to resolve the myriads of challenges facing the various sectors of the economy, rather than trying to impose a tax regime on churches.

Very Rev. Akakpo, however, advised churches to use their pulpits to address social issues rather than creating platforms for politicians to 'preach what they do not practice,' especially, when the country was preparing for the 2012 polls.

Very Rev. Akakpo was speaking at an honourary ceremony held at the Trans-Continental Worship Centre (TCWC), Assemblies of God Church, in Accra last Sunday for some heads of churches.

The church leaders, who were presented with the Doctor of Divinity (D.Div) honours by the Pan African Clergy Council and Bible Seminary, included Reverends Joseph Kadmos Kwesi Baisie of the TCWC, John Kingsley Ekow Sankah, Frank Akakpo, Emmanuel Lutterodt Marquaye, and Henry Senyo.

The rest were Pastor Emmanuel Lartei Mingle, Rev. James Arthur, Very Rev. Ernestina Ofori, and Evangelist Hannah Appiah.

He further advised the government to establish an independent body to manage the oil revenue, and not gloss over its discovery, since it could be a blessing or a curse.

'The oil would not be a blessing if they use working hours to read Bibles, turn offices into churches and cinema halls, and working lotto. The oil discovery is a call for hardworking, dedication, and faithfulness,' Very Rev. Akakpo emphasised.

The occasion, however, marked the PACC's second graduation.

The PACC is accredited by the Association of Independent Christian Colleges and Seminaries (AICCS) in Missouri, USA, and awards biblical scholars who have excelled in their various fields of endeavour with Doctorate degrees.

He said the granduands had done a lot of studies, and successfully presented well-researched doctoral thesis on their chosen topics, including Churches in Ghana and taxation; Mission and streetism in Ghana; Marriage: God's business with man in procreation, and many others.

He outlined transportation, office equipment, accommodation and finance, as some of the challenges affecting the progress of the organisation, and thus called for assistance from benevolent institutions, the government, and individuals alike.

Meanwhile, the Head Pastor of the Trans-Continental Worship Centre, Rev. Joseph Kadmos Kwesi Baisie, who was honoured with the Doctor of Divinity award, said when people's efforts are being acknowledged, much is expected of them in terms of delivery, while leading exemplary life styles.

He also took the opportunity to advise his fellow colleagues in the pastoral field to eschew every power of pride in their calling by God, charging them to teach the true word of God, instead of dwelling on prophecies all the time.

Rev. Baisie said, 'Prophetic teachings are real, but the way and manner his fellow pastors use it is not the best.'

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