Police in Accra are investigating an alleged gathering by the youth of the Christ Embassy Church at the Fantasy Dome, Trade Fair Centre, Accra, where members of the church allegedly disregarded COVID-19 protocols.
Trending videos of the alleged gathering, dubbed “Pneumatica Night” shows a non-mask-wearing mass crowd, screaming, chanting and dancing to the “evangelism” of non-mask-wearing
According to the police, the event puts the entire country at a high risk of COVID-19 spread at a time when the country is working against a third wave of the virus amidst the challenges in getting jabs for the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
Police have subsequently locked up the Fantasy Dome where the event was held.
The event was held on Friday, May 30, 2021.
Social media users have criticized the church for the non-adherence of the safety protocols expressing concerns about a possible surge in Ghana’s active COVID-19 cases.
In a statement, the police administration stated that it did not provide security at the event because there was no official notice to that effect
Meanwhile, management and leaders of the church are undergoing interrogation over the unlawful development.
“Any person found culpable will be arrested and duly prosecuted”, the police said.
Christ Embassy in Ghana organized this yesterday, at a time when we are calling for prayers for India. Your founder doesn’t believe in Covid but he won’t mingle so he contracts the virus, he pushes you to go and smell it. We can’t allow a Jim Jones to take lives. pic.twitter.com/6PNY2dLmyH
— PrampramFisherman (@AnnyOsabutey) May 2, 2021
The police also used the opportunity to remind Ghanaians that a breach of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, will be subjected to the sanctions imposed by law.
No social distancing ! No mask ! at the Christ Embassy event last Friday Night at the Fantasy Dome “Pneumatica Night 2021” in Accra
When we are in the middle of COVID-19! Why are other gatherings banned but this is happening? I can’t believe my eyes ! pic.twitter.com/svPbdxfFSV
— ama Oware (@AmaOwareF) May 2, 2021
The global Christ Embassy Church has been loud and clear in its criticisms of the pandemic and the vaccines being administered to slow the rate of infections.
Ofcom had earlier fined a TV network owned by Chris Oyakhilome £125,000 after airing a 29-hour show claiming among others that the virus was “planned” and created by the “deep state”.
Already, pressure Group, Occupy Ghana has called for a probe into circumstances under which the Christ Embassy Youth Church, Airport City organized the event without observing COVID-19 protocols.
In the midst of a pandemic, Ghana’s authorities allowed a church (Christ Embassy) to organize an event that brought together over 30,000 young people under one big umbrella. 😳😳😳 pic.twitter.com/3GPdFRGqKS
— Dean Professor Dr. Zeus. PhD, Mphil, Msc, B.A (@dada_ba_Unusual) May 2, 2021
Occupy Ghana in a statement made reference to a viral video in which thousands of members of the church were packed in an air-conditioned tent with minimal mask-wearing and no social distancing.
If this Christ Embassy gathering should lead to a spike in Covid 19, I will blame no one but the Government! You set up a Covid Task Force which should be checking these gatherings yet they constantly fail to do so. Such a large gathering couldn’t have happened at your blind side
— Etwienana Yaw Amaniampong Nkwantabisa Asante II (@theakyemmafia) May 2, 2021
The group in a statement wondered why authorities allowed the event to be held, given the head pastor, Chris Oyakhilome’s stance on the virus.
“We are shocked that the authorities could either actively or negligently allow this event to be held in Accra, especially by a religious organization whose leader actively denies the virus and preaches against the protocols.”
“The government must answer to Ghanaians whether this event was held on its blind side, and if so, how that was possible? Was the police present at the event, and if so, why? Were government officials invited and were they present? Were the venue owners present, and did they take any steps to prevent or stop this?”