I do not intend to offend the deaf Christian God and many of His staunch worshippers in Ghana, at least not this time.
I want to have a reasonable conversation with any Christian who’s smart enough to realise that, it’s fundamentally wrong, totally absurd and an unpardonable violation of the property enjoyment rights of poor Ghanaians who unfortunately live next to churches, situated at residential areas—emitting noise that’s gone beyond nuisance.
In 2015, a friend of mine who visited Ghana from the UK was terrified by the torture from the noise of a church that had suddenly emerged just at the back of his house. It was so bad that when attempts to speak to the leaders failed, he filed an official complaint with the police, which actually worsened his torment.
The church “bribed” the police and dealt with this by “reproaching and calling down Holy Ghost fire during their prayer sessions [each night to consume this] friend of mine and his family.”
My other friend from the School of Law, University of East London has relocated to Ghana and I woke up this morning to a voice note (attached below) from her–lamenting about the sort of harassment and human rights violation she’s compelled to endure from a church next door, made worse by the fact that she’s now a nursing mother.
According to Abena, she was once again awoken at 4am today by the loud shouting and prayers of members of Winners Chapel’s Kwabenya branch. She actually was shaken and when she couldn’t find a stone to throw into the church, she walked there to speak to the pastor in charge–who was as usual dismissive and even threatened her that, anyone who fights such battles does not live long.
It’s time we tear down this sort of celestial mandate churches seem to think to have, to make noise freely in Ghana, backed by threats to neighbours who complain and the ineffectiveness of our authorities to do anything about it.
I find the Ghanaian Christian way of worship not only stupid but also as that which belongs to the palaeolithic era, as that which bothers on gross ignorance and absolute disregard for the sanity and rights of others. Living next to a selfish Christian worshiping a deaf God exigent for 24/7 praises and worship is the worst thing that can ever happen to anyone.
I am waiting for a day when a fed-up Ghanaian will take a gun, enter a next door church and shoot down everyone including the pastors for the unbearable torture they put people through which Ghanaian authorities have decided to accord no attention to.
Interestingly, it’s only churches, perhaps because the Bible says “touch not my anointed; and do no evil to my prophet” that enjoy this unfettered right to make noise at whatever time and to whatever degree in Ghana.
Two years ago, the Amasaman District Court fined a 19-year-old student who operated a drinking spot for making excessive noise by playing loud music at night, saying it goes a long way to disturb his neighbours. Churches do this every night and no authority in Ghana even coughs.
Without any legal means available to Ghanaians in tackling the increasing noise of churches at residential areas which have gone beyond nuisance, several Ghanaians have resorted to handling the situation their own ways–ranging from fights with church members to the common tactics of stone throwing when service is on-going.
Last year, “Ghana’s deputy ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Hajia Boya Gariba, fired a series of warning shots at a church in her area on Christmas Day as they simply could not stop disturbing her,” GhanaCelebrities.Com reported.
“The diplomat, who lives in Tamale, got irate when the Spring of Life Assembly Church kept disturbing her in her house with their enthusiastic Christmas Day service,” the website added.
“I did the shooting because they gave it (gun) to us for self-protection. I have reported to the police, the CID has come here several times [yet] they won’t stop (the noise). I was bathing then they came here to attack us and they even wounded this boy so I have shot. The gun is licensed and I have been trained to use it,”Hajia Boya Garib said.
The above is not what happens in a working democracy, in any country where laws work–this is some sort of Thomas Hobbes’ State of Nature bedlam. But that’s the only way to deal with these churches and their members, whose ways of worship points to the assumption that the Christian God is deaf and the only way to get Him to hear you is make noise–each night and day, sometimes even amplified with modern powerful systems.
It’s pathetic that a lot of Ghanaians have nothing better doing with their lives than to show up at numerous church service each week; all night services and early morning mass. Though pitiful, it’s their right to waste their lives in whatever way they want.
However, what’s not a right and what others should not have to painfully endure is the obvious extension of their pathetic lifestyle: the incessant making of loud noise called worship to the glory of their God.
The irony in this as a pastor friend of mine noted is that: “the same Ghanaians who complain about noise being made in their neighbourhoods by churches mostly go to their own churches in the neighbourhoods of others, to make the same noise they complain about, to the displeasure of others.”
The problem is all over in Africa. In 2015, it was reported that the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency closed down about 55 churches due to noise after residents’ complaints skyrocketed.
To be frank, I cannot fathom why any intelligent human being would belong to an organisation that has no regard for others, except its own selfish interest and desire to exalt a celestial father. It’s therefore not shocking, that over a century of research proves that people with higher intelligence are less likely to believe in a God–and therefore, the accompanying unhealthy rituals of worship, including the obvious time and energy profligacy.
I live next to a St. Peters’ Church in the United Kingdom and though it’s less than a minute walk from me, I’ve never heard them say ‘AMEN’ all the many years that I’ve lived here. It’s as if they do not exist. This is because laws work out here. Try the nonsense being championed in Ghana called church service in the UK or any civilised country and your permit to hold a service will immediately be revoked.
In Ghana, you do not need any permit to mount a worship place; just secure a location and call your fellow credulous worshippers, and you are set to make noise to whatever degree possible. Even 5 people in a church will find the need to use an amplify, just to increase the noise they make beyond reasonable borders.
Woe unto you if you complain: if you are lucky, you will be branded a witch followed by more prayers and if you are unlucky, it’s going to be a cold war between you and legion of human angels.
No one has a divine authority, not from any celestial dictator, to torment the lives of others in the name of church service as it’s being done in Ghana.
Listen to Abena’s horrible experience below…