Without doubt a huge part of the Ghanaian population are Christians.
A Ghana 2015 International Religious Freedom Report indicates 71 percent of Ghanaians are Christians.
So doubtless, president Akufo-Addo’s unbending decision to build a National Cathedral for God, because He granted him, his desire of becoming president is not misplaced at all.
But bear with me on this ride and let’s help ourselves to figure out whether our president’s vow to honour God with a cathedral is in our interest.
At least if the president’s decision is not scientific, it must be aimed to engender some Christian values.
Some of these values are; fellowship,kindness, trustworthiness, reverence, justice, and humility to mention a few.
What I can’t rap my head around is that, will a mere edifice promote any of these values?
Wouldn’t it be better if the state was to spearhead the inculcation if these values into the citizenry?
Don’t you think if everybody has good attitude toward work, is trustworthy and kind, we will make positive strides?
Will the mere building of a cathedral foster these values?
The state of these values in our society can be described as decadent and rotten.
Christian religion encourages communal relations as our traditional culture does.
But are we becoming more individualistic or communalistic.
Let’s face some hard facts in our standard of living.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service 6.8 million people representing, 23.4 percent of the entire Ghanaian population are poor. This means they couldn’t spend 4.82 cedis per day in 2016/2017.
Another 2.4 million people rep. 8.2 percent are lanquishing in abject poverty. These people couldn’t afford 3 cedis worth of food daily in the same period.
What will the building of a cathedral do for such people?
The late Prof. Kofi Awunoor stated it clearly in His poem, “The Cathedral”.
On this dirty patch
a tree once stood
shedding incense on the infant corn;
its boughs stretched across a heaven
brightened by the last fires of a tribe.
They sent surveyors and builders
who cut that tree
planting in its place
a huge senseless cathedral of doom.
The imposition of religioin and the destruction of culture through mere physical representation has been clearly stated above.
This must remind us that the immaterial culture of a people to a large extent define them and propel or repel them from progress.
Without a proper belief system what can be achieved?
Kofi Boateng (Ghana Institute of Journalism)