28.03.2005 Regional News

Afetorku Shrine holds faith renewal convention

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Dagbamate, March 28, GNA - More than 3,000 adherents and priests of the Afetorku Shrine at Dagbamate, in the Akatsi District on Sunday converged at Dagbamate for their annual faith renewal convention, which attracted scores of American and Canadian students of African culture.

Led by the Chief Priest, Hunua Dunyo, members of the Shrine, renewed their vows and gave thanks in the form of gifts of sheep, fowls and other animals before the deity, which is considered as the icon of love and unity among its numerous followers in the area. The rites include eating of a communal meal of mashed yam in its white form and another laced with palm oil.

The communal meal ritual is considered the renewal of the bond between members and the shrine.

By participating in the feast, all adherents are believed to be reconciled with one another.

Hunua Dunyo prayed for the love, unity and development in the lives of members asking the deity to promote reconciliation among Ghanaians. Before the rites, Hunua Dunyo led worshippers in a vigorous drumming and dancing session amidst firing of musketry at the precincts of the shrine.

The shrine is rarely visited or once every year for what the Ghana News Agency (GNA) was told was interaction with the spirit. Almost all the worshippers were clad in the Shrine's 33rd anniversary cloth, which was marked last year.

The Dagbamate Shrine, which is fast turning into a study centre in traditional African religion for foreign students, has a hostel for foreign students who visit as part of their studies. Among worshippers were priests from neighbouring countries, researchers from both African and European universities.

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