Chieftaincy Ministry facilitates Christian pilgrimage

By Eunice Hilda Ampomah, GNA

Accra,
Sept. 17, GNA – The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has
facilitated the travelling of 200 Christian pilgrims to Israel.

The trip
was also facilitated by the Ministry to ensure that Ghanaians who have always
wanted to go to Israel embark on a safe and successful trip.

The
nine-day trip is a religious one to enable the pilgrims pray for themselves,
leaders of the country and the entire citizenry.

Mr Kofi
Dzamesi, Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, addressing the
pilgrims, said even though many people wanted to be part of the trip, only 200
were carefully selected to embark on the pilgrimage.

This, he
said, was because over the years, the Ministry has received complaints from
authorities in Israel where some Ghanaians who had gone on a pilgrimage decided
to escape to stay and work after the pilgrimage and were jailed and deported
later.

Mr
Dzamesi said: “Let me warn you that if you try to run away, you will be caught
and arrested and Israeli prisons are worse than the Nsawam Prison.

“Please
be cautious too not to accept to look after anybody’s luggage even for a short
while when you don’t know what is in that luggage”, he said.

He said
last year, 50 Christian pilgrims were given the privilege to go on the trip and
200 are travelling this year and hopefully about 1000 citizens would be allowed
to travel next year.

He
advised them to comport themselves adding that Nigeria facilitates the journey
of 40,000 pilgrims to Israel every year, yet they comport themselves and return
safely to their country.

Responding
to whether government sponsored the trips, Mr Dzamesi told the Ghana News
Agency that “there is no sponsorship by Government. People have paid for
themselves while some of them have been sponsored by others”.

He said
the opportunity to apply and embark on the trip was opened to the general
public and the pilgrimage forms were sold across the country in Omnibank and
the National House of Chiefs.

He said
after requests from the beneficiaries were received, applicants were given
dates for interview and the successful candidates were taken through some
processes for the final trip.

Madam
Akosua Frema Opare, Chief of Staff of the Presidency, told the beneficiaries to
pray for the country.

She urged
them to pray for the peace of the nation and renew themselves in order to be
distinguished as true Christians upon their return.

Mrs
Yvonne Anamzoya, a representative of the One People Travel Agency and a
Coordinator of the trip, urged them to get to know each other in order and keep
an eye on each other.

She said:
“When you get to the border line of Israel, they can ask you randomly, do you
know this person? And if you can’t recognise the person but claim you are
moving as a group, then it will not help”.

She
advised them to comport themselves because being given visas does not guarantee
that they have free entry to Israel and urged them to comport themselves on the
journey.

GNA

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