Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, has commended government’s plans to facilitate Christian pilgrimages to Israel and other places of interest.
His comments follow the announcement by Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister, Kofi Dzamesi, that two committees had been set up namely, Planning and Screening Committees, to oversee the operations of Christian pilgrimage in the country, beginning with a hundred pilgrims this year.
“Let me assure you that we intend to have an eventful pilgrimage. In view of this, the Ministry has set up two sub-committees which are the Planning and Screening Committees which are composed of members of recognized Christian bodies,” Mr. Dzamesi said on Friday.
The decision has re-opened public discussion on the importance of the state funding faith-based activities.
But speaking to Citi News’ Duke Mensah Opoku, the Asawase MP pointed out that, it is not out of place for government to facilitate the pilgrimage of Christians.
“I think that it is a very welcoming thing. While they are going to worship, they will take time to also pray for the country. In the case of Muslims, it is the Saudi government that will not allow individuals to do that. I don’t know about Israel but if it is so, and government is also going to coordinate it, I think it is a very good thing. ..Christians should be given space to worship, and Muslims should also be given space to worship. I think it is a very laudable thing …,” Mr. Muntaka said.
While Hon. Muntaka has described the move as laudable, other stakeholders hold a different view on the decision.
Facilitation of Christian pilgrimages needless
The Executive Director of IMANI Ghana, has indicated that government’s decision to facilitate the pilgrimage is unnecessary since there are other entities already facilitating these trips.
“I think clearly that the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has no work to do and I get worried… It appears to me they have no work to do that is why they will be thinking of organizing trips to Isreal and other parts of the world. It is needless because already, there are entities and private organisations that organise these trips. There are many travel and tour agencies that organise these trips every year…,” he said.