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06.01.2019 Headlines

Focus on Africa: Ghana's doomsday prophet causes out rage

By William Niba - RFI
Creative Commons/Guido Sohne
LISTEN JAN 6, 2019

Ghanaian pastor causes Muslim furor with prophesy predicting the imminent death of the country's Grand Imam.

Religious leaders in Ghana are calling for restraint after angry reactions by Muslims to a prophesy by a self-proclaimed diviner that the country's Chief Imam will die in 2019.

Rev Owusu-Bempah's New Year eve prediction that Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu will pass on during the year sparked angry reactions by Muslim youths who stormed his Glorious Word and Power Ministry church in Accra.

Muslim wrath
The Ghanaian Times reports that the youths armed with machetes and stones descended on the temple smashing chairs, windows, an organ and a billboard carrying the preacher's image.

The Ghanaian Times says they went on to post a video of their punitive expedition on social media and threatened further action if they didn't get an apology from the pastor.

Nancy Emefa-Dzradosi covered the incidents for the Accra-based Joy News and Joy FM. She told RFI that Ghana is a mainly Christian country with no history of religious conflict.

She claims that the worse seemed to have been avoided thanks to appeals for calm by Imam Sharabutu himself, other clergymen, the Minister for Inner Cities Mustapha Abdul-Hamid as well as civil society leaders.

Flouting biblical doctrine
The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) criticized the public announcement of death prophecies about some prominent Ghanaians by so-called self-styled prophets saying they will not come to pass.

The Council, an umbrella organization of over 200 Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches in Ghana, said in a statement that persons who go public with these kind of prophecies are flouting biblical doctrine.

While Rev Owusu-Bempah has refused to apologize for the reckless prophesy, the Grand Imam called on Muslim faithful to forgive him.

According to Joy FM's Emefa-Dzradosi, the spurious prophesies made over the years by the self-styled prophet haven't prevented him from attracting large numbers of followers to his Glorious Word and Power Ministry church.