Religion must ‘engender patriotism’ – Akufo-Addo urges religious leaders

President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged religious leaders in the country to ensure that their teachings cause Ghanaians to be law abiding and alive to their civic and socio-economic responsibilities.

The President said this will facilitate national progress.

Nana Akufo-Addo made the remark during his first working visit to Winneba in the Central Region to attend the 85th Annual Convention of Ahmadiyya Mission, five days after his induction as Ghana’s 5th leader of the fourth republic.

“We are a nation of religious people. Religion permeates all aspects of our lives and it is an every day, every time and every place affair. We must, therefore, be able to use religion to play a positive role in providing the guidance that is needed for the progress of our country, “he said.

The President also expressed his administration’s preparedness to cooperate with religious bodies in the implementation of his 2016 campaign policies.

“We should use religion to engender patriotism and love for our nation,” he said. “The two greatest religious figures of all time, Jesus Christ and the Prophet Mohammed, both teach us that patriotism is as important as fidelity to the religious creed.

“When our Lord Jesus Christ says that we should give unto Caesar what is Caesars and unto God which is God’s, he means that we should commit equally to serving our nation as we commit to serving God.

“The Prophet Mohammed, on the other hand, teaches that our commitment to our nation is a religious virtue. He says we should not withdraw allegiance to the State, even on the account of tyrannical rule,” the President said.

The Head and Missionary-in-charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission of Ghana, Alhaji Maulvi Mohammed Bin Salih, urged the President to rule the country in unity and peace to ensure the progress and prosperity of the country.

He advised the Government to adopt an all-inclusive approach to governance and make use of Ghanaian talents where and when they were available, irrespective of their political, religious and ethnic background.

“There is the need for all of us as a people to develop unconditional love for our country rather than letting political affiliations divide us,” he said.

“Patriotism, in other words, love for one’s country, is a great virtue which forms part of the teachings of Islam as taught us, and as practised for our emulation by the Holy Prophet Mohammed,” he said.