General News of Friday, 9 January 2015
Source: Today Newspaper
Lawyer and President of Legal Advocacy Foundation, Maurice Ampaw, has descended heavily on pastors, criticising some of them for being the major cause of many divorced marriages in the country.
Speaking on GTV’s “Morning Breakfast” show in Accra on Tuesday, January 6, 2014 the lawyer was unhappy about the method some pastors used in settling marital problems which are brought before them.
According to the outspoken lawyer, some men of God had misled marriage couples by using the name of God to put fear in them which, hitherto, led to the end of their marriages.
“Pastors are abusing marriage women; they are the main the cause of a lot of broken marriages in Ghana,” he said and called on marriage couples to stop the habit of sending their partners to their pastors whenever there is any misunderstanding.
Religious abuse, he noted, was on the increase in Ghana and advised victims to report such act(s) to the Domestic Violence and Victims’ Support Unit (DOVSU,) media and the police to shame the so-called men of God.
He was particularly worried that religious abuse was fast becoming a phenomenon in many churches in the country, noting that some churches and prayer camps in the country perpetuated sexual and physical abuse against congregants, especially women and children under the guise of healing and deliverance.
According to lawyer Ampaw, some spiritual leaders harassed, humiliated and inflicted physical pain on congregants under the pretext of exorcising them of evil spirits.
He indicated that the practice had existed for several.
He pointed out human rights abuse in churches was becoming rampant.
He also bemoaned what he described as crude methods used by some pastors to heal people.
These methods, he mentioned, included pastors hit members on the head, pouring oil into their noses and mouths, hitting their chests.
In his estimation all these methods were human rights violations.
Lawyer Amapaw also lashed out at the media for broadcasting such activities, adding that stakeholders must develop strategies to address the menace since most of the victims of such abuses seemed ignorant and voluntarily accepted such treatment.
To this end, he charged DOVSU to step up in its education on domestic violence.