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21.07.2004 General News

Churches are now 'Jesus supermarket' -Bishop

By Heritage
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The Most Rev. John Martin Darko, Catholic Bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese, has observed that "the greed for money and power is leading to a situation where churches are being turned into 'Jesus supermarket' where people who break away and form their own churches sell the name of Jesus to make money".

Speaking at a workshop organized by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) for party representatives, heads of institutions and civil society at Takoradi on Wednesday July 14,2004, Bishop Darko expressed disgust at the extent of corruption in churches and in the society and called for a collective effort to eradicate it.

The two-day workshop, which was aimed at promoting democracy and good governance in Ghana, had as its theme "Fighting corruption: An agenda for democracy and good governance.

Bishop Darko cited three examples of his personal experience of corruption in the civil service and said "corruption in the civil service is more dangerous than that among politicians and government officials".

He attributed the situation to "bad upbringing in our homes and our schools, which leads to selfish nature, egoism, greed, misplaced pride and morally depraved behaviour". Calling on all citizens to contribute their quota to the development of the country, the Catholic bishop said a proper agenda for democracy and good governance could only be achieved when the administration of the state is able to clean up the civil service and all relevant state organs.

Mr. Daniel Batdam, Executive Secretary, Ghana Integrity initiative (GII) said curative measures resorted to by past and present government to fight corruption did not prove effective enough and therefore called on individuals, institutions and government to put in place measures to reduce the opportunity for people to get corrupt in any way.

On her part, Mrs. Augustina Akumanyi, Deputy Chairman (Programmes) NCCE, announced that the commission was negotiating with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports for the re-introduction of the technique of civics in schools to inculcate in students qualities of patriotism, honesty and moral discipline to be able to guard against corruption.

In an address read on his behalf, the Western Regional Minister, Mr. Joseph Aidoo said organizations like CHRAJ, SFO, and the office of accountability which have a crucial role to play to stamp out corruption were being resourced to function efficiently and effectively.