Ghana Police warns religious leaders to be measured in prophetic utterances
The Police have asked religious group leaders to be measured in prophetic utterances that may injure the right of others and public interest.
A statement signed by Superintendent Alexander Kwaku Obeng, Director Public Affairs, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said though the Police was not against prophecies and acknowledged that Ghanaians were religious, and believed in the centrality of God in their lives, rights of others and general public good must guide such utterances.
It said as the year 2021 drew to a close, it was important that “we have the right to religion, freedom of worship and free speech, all of these rights are subject to the respect for the rights and freedoms of others according to our laws.”
The statement noted that over the years, communication of prophesies of harm, danger, death, by some religious leaders, had created tension and panic in the Ghanaian society and put the lives of many people in fear and danger.
It cautioned that under the law, it was a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour or report, which was likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, where that person had no evidence to prove that the statement, rumour or report was true.
The statement said it was also a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that was false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life saving service or to endanger the safety of any person.
It said a person found guilty under the laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years.
The statement assured all religious organisations that they were committed to ensuring maximum security during the 31st December night, end of year services and beyond and called for support from all.
It said there should be no apprehensions, and that, everyone should keep within the law and be mindful of the welfare of one another.
The statement urged all Ghanaians to observe the COVID-19 protocols religiously to protect themselves, families and friends from the ravaging pandemic and wished all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.