Assembly drags 20 churches to court

The Ga South Municipal Assembly has dragged 20 churches to court for flouting its directive on noise making.

One of the churches, Anointed Prayer Ministry at McCarthy Hill was last week, fined GHC 240 by the Ga South District Magistrate’s Court and banned from using musical instruments during service.

The court is yet to give its ruling on the rest of the churches.

The assembly has also clamped down on small churches springing up at odd places such as people’s backyards and houses, not registered with the assembly.

Speaking to The Ghanaian Times last Friday, after a stakeholders’ meeting on street naming and house numbering, the Municipal Chief Executive Jerry Akwei Thompson, said so far, six of such churches had been closed down.

He said 40 churches had registered with the assembly following The Ghanaian Times  publication on the issue, and the sub­sequent closure of the churches.

According to him, the Ga South Munici­pal Assembly’s action on noise making and establishment of churches was to ensure that, sanity prevailed in the manner that church activities were carried out in the assembly’s area.

“We are not against the churches, but we are also obliged to consider the welfare of the residents whose peace is being threat­ened by such noises especially at night,” he said.

The assembly, in April this year, gave churches within the assembly a 21-day ulti­matum to install sound proof systems in their church buildings or face closure.

This follows complaints by residents within the municipality, demanding action to be taken against churches that make ex­cessive noise especially at night.

Mr. Thompson said the assembly, upon discussions with the churches within its jurisdiction, had set April ending as the deadline for all churches to comply with the directive.

He indicated that the assembly’s di­rective was an enforcement of its bye- laws on noise making, and that churches which would not comply would face the full rigours of the law.

He further advised the churches to regulate their sound levels, to at most 58 decibels at night.

Mr. Thompson again expressed worry about the springing up of churches in the assembly without proper pro­cesses, saying “The assembly would soon clamp down on such churches”.

He advised them to obtain permits from the assembly before putting up church buildings, adding that regulating their activities periodically with the as­sembly would avert the complaints about their activities.

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