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28.08.2004 General News

50th anniversary of the Bahai Faith in Ghana

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Spiritual principles are important for sustainable development Accra, Aug 28, GNA - Mr Agyeman Manu, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, has said no human society could enjoy sustainable development without taking account of spiritual principles such as truthfulness, honesty, love, equity and justice.

He said the world had reached a stage where only gross domestic product, inflation, macro and micro economic indices were all measured to determine material progress with little or no reference to spiritual and moral principles.

Mr Manu said this when he launched the 50th anniversary celebration of the Bahai Faith in Ghana.

''Human nature is fundamentally spiritual and therefore communities or nations cannot not become prosperous and sustainable when they ignore the spiritual dimensions of the human reality.''

The three-day celebration has a theme ''Spiritual Solutions For Social and Economic Problems'' and has brought together followers of Baha'ullah, the founder of the faith, from all parts of the country. Topics to be discussed include essence of spiritual prosperity, Spiritual Pre-Requisites for reconciliation and Unity in diversity; a key to world peace would be discussed.

Other activities are an essay competition, visit to gravesites of some early believers and an art festival.

Mr Manu said experience had shown that prosperity could only be achieved within a peaceful and stable atmosphere.

''This can be possible only when steps are taken to eliminate extremes of wealth and poverty, ensure all religions live in harmony with each other, ensure that all ethic groups accept each other as belonging to the same human family.''

Mr Manu said peace and prosperity were also possible when steps were taken to let all political leaders see their opponents as playing complimentary roles in advancing the prosperity of the country.

He urged all to exhibit some of the good qualities of religious humility and examine critically and dispassionately the noble principles of the Bahai teachings such as God being one and the same although we call him by different names.

Mr Manu said Ghana today prides itself as being an oasis of peace in West Africa.

''There have been a number of occasions where some eminent citizens have had the reason to question the state of discipline in the Ghanaian Society, even though we have witnessed the emergence of religious groups and sects which spring up each day, at every street corner.''

Bahai faith was founded in 1844 and first introduced to Ghana on October 1951 by Mrs Ethel Robertson Stephens, an African American. There are about 14,100 Bahai faithfuls in Ghana.

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