The Chairman of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, has advised members of the church to ignore criticisms by some members of the pubic who are opposed to the church’s decision to construct prisons or correctional facilities across the country.
According to the Chairman, the decision to construct correctional facilities has been gravely misconstrued since it is not meant to encourage crime but to decongest overcrowded prison facilities in Ghana.
Apostle Nyamekye said this on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, when he met ministers and officers of the church in the Kasoa Area to throw light on the 5˗year strategic vision of the church, dubbed “Vision 2023” with the overarching theme: “Possessing the Nations: Equipping the Church to transform every sphere of society with values and principles of the Kingdom of God.”
As part of the strategic approaches adopted in realising the vision, the church has partnered the government in undertaking some social intervention initiatives. Notable amongst them is the construction of prisons facilities, which has been ridiculed and backlashed by some quarters of the general public.
Reacting to this, the Chairman stated: “As a church, we are in the business of seeking and saving sinners. So essentially sinners are our clients. It is, therefore, expected that we would take an interest in facilities where sinners are kept.”
He further explained that the construction of prison facilities by the church is part of efforts to assist the government in solving the challenge of overcrowding in Ghanaian prisons.
He said the correctional centres will also have workshop and church auditorium among other facilities that would contribute to the reformation of inmates.
“The Nsawam Medium Security Prison, I am told, was built for 800 inmates, but currently houses close to 3500 inmates. That is an excess of about 2700 inmates! If as a church, we can put up very big and magnificent auditoriums, which we only use on Sunday mornings and in the evenings, and look on unconcerned as our brothers and sisters struggle to find a place to lay their heads, then what kind of followers of Jesus Christ are we?” he quizzed.
In addition to decongesting prisons, Apostle Nyamekye said that the facilities will serve as correctional centres where inmates would be transformed with the gospel message of Jesus Christ, equipped with skills training and reformed in order to be reintegrated into society as responsible citizens after serving their prison terms.
He noted that the church has taken appropriate steps to give inmates who have the ability to pursue formal education at all levels (basic, secondary and tertiary) the opportunity to do so.
Other social interventions being undertaken by the church in line with Vision 2023 are the construction of boreholes, bus stop shelters, CHPS compounds, Police stations as well as the Environmental Care Campaign.
Apostle Eric Nyamekye, therefore, call on members of the church to own the vision and commit themselves to ensure its effective implementation.