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16.01.2005 Regional News

We must do away with ethnocentrism - Dr. Aboagye-Mensah

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Accra, Jan. 16, GNA - The Most Reverend Dr. Robert Aboagye Mensah, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana on Sunday urged Ghanaians to do away with ethnocentrism as it had become like a foreign god threatening the peace of the nation.

He said: "Anything that takes the place of God, be it man-made, concepts or ideas which make us push God into the background is a foreign god," adding that for the country's democracy to thrive, citizens must get rid of tribal and ethnic allegiances. The Most Rev. Dr. Aboagye Mensah was speaking at a National Interdenominational Thanksgiving Service in Accra under the theme: "Ebenezer: Thus Far Has The Lord Brought Us."

It was organised by the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), the Ghana Pentecostal Council (GCP), the National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches (NACCC) and the Multimedia Broadcasting Company. The service was to thank God for His guidance and protection for a peaceful election and swearing-in ceremony to usher in the second term of the ruling government.

Most Rev. Dr Aboagye Mensah said any Politician who used ethnicity as a campaign message was doing the country a great disservice and must be viewed as a "Prophet of doom and an enemy of the state.'' He said wars on the continent could be traced to ethnicity and tribalism, which had divided nations with people fighting each other. "We must not make ethnicity a foreign god that will devour and divide us. Our ethnic background must help us to build a healthy and strong nation but not a sick and weak one,'' he added.

Most Rev. Dr. Aboagye Mensah said the country must make a conscious effort to learn to think and behave as a nation and not individuals from different ethnic groups, adding that the country's intellectuals and elders must help in this direction by teaching the youth the right thing.

With reference to Israel conquering the Philistines, he said Ghana's "Philistine" was poverty, fear and corruption, adding that the chapter two of the positive change "should give a hard blow to these evils in order to conquer them."

Touching on the theme of the Service, he said "Ebenezer: Thus Far Has The Lord Brought Us", signifies the great things God had done for the nation and also served as a challenge to the nation to commit herself to God in response to what He had done and serve Him only. The service was attended by the Speaker of Parliament, Chief Justice and members of the Judiciary, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament and the Council of State, the Clergy and Christians from various the churches, among others.

They danced to songs and praises provided by the Joyful Way Singers, the Ga Presbytery Model Choir and the Soul Winners. Prayers for the re-dedication of the Nation into the hands of God were said by Dr. Christie Doe Tetteh, General Overseer of the Solid Rock Chapel, Bishop Charles Agyin Asare, First Vice President of the GPC and Rt. Rev. A.A. Beeko, Former Moderator of the PCG. Jan 16, 05

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