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Rev Prof Paul Frimpong-Manso, President of GPCC

President of the Ghana Charismatic and Pentecostal Council (GPCC), Reverend Prof. Paul Frimpong Manso, has welcomed the Police warning pastors and religious leaders against prophecies as 2022 beckons.

In a statement on Monday, the Police said such prophecies are likely to cause fear and panic in the populace.

Ahead of December 31 church services, which are usually held to mark the end of the year and to usher in a new year, various religious leaders announce prophecies, sometimes declaring the death of persons.

The Police say while freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Constitution, the communication of prophecies of harm, danger and death by some religious leaders can cause tension in society.

Speaking to JoyNews on Tuesday, Prof. Frimpong Manso lauded the Police for their proactiveness on the issue

He also decried how some pastors go about their prophecies in the country, adding that “some prophets, whether we like it or not, will make some of us uncomfortable [while] some will give us comfort.

“When we talk about policing, we are talking about peace, safety and security of the populace, so if there is anything that will bring peace, safety and security, then they should be on board. So it’s good that they [the Police] have been proactive to some of these things.

“On the other hand, our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and freedom of association, but our freedom should be within the framework of the Constitution. One’s freedom should not affect another person’s freedom of safety and security,” he said.

Rev. Frimpong Manso further stated that his outfit will continuously engage the Police administration on the matter to deal with issues some members of the clergy members may have.

“To me, prophecy is not wrong but how we deliver it – the fears and the threats that are associated with it. I read one line [of the Police statement] which gives me some form of consolation that they are not against prophecy, but if you follow, in the last few years, most of the prophecies that come, especially at the December 31, is about who will die.

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“So what the Police is trying to say is that we should be cautious, we should be ethical [and] we should handle some of these things well,” he said.

Meanwhile, a private legal practitioner, Kweku Paintsil, has described the statement from the Police as strange and not enforceable.

According to him, any attempts by the Police, through the state, to control the terrain of prophecies will infringe on the rights to religion and freedom of speech.

“I really have my doubts if there is a proper legal basis for the Police statement. The difficulty about the police statement, as I find it is generally about the difficulty of enforcing speech – what to say or what not to say.

“Don’t forget that we do not only have the criminal aspect of it [but] we also have the civil aspect of freedom of speech.”

“Dealing with these ones [prophecies], we are even getting into spiritual matters, and the whole idea of what somebody is likely to say to find himself liable in a criminal conviction for a statement that he has made is quite murky.

“The real issue is the ability of the Police or any complainant to demonstrate that any particular speech or any particular statement that anybody made created fear and panic; it has not happened, to my knowledge,” he argued.

Meanwhile, the Police said it is committed to ensuring maximum security during December 31 night service.

The Service also urged Ghanaians to be mindful of the welfare of one other and act within the law.

“The police wish to assure all religious organisations that we are committed to ensuring the maximum security during the 31st December night, end of year services and beyond.”

“There should be no apprehensions therefore about undertaking the various activities,” the statement dated December 27, 2021, noted.

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