Methodist Church Ghana organises first puberty rites

Stephen Asante, GNA

Kumasi, Oct. 17, GNA – The Methodist Church
Ghana (MCG), in the Atonsu-Agogo Circuit in Kumasi, has made history with the
premiering of ‘puberty rites’ (bragoro), an African traditional ceremony to
initiate girls into womanhood, in an open Christian church environment.

Ms. Portia Owusu, a 16-year old member of the
Church, was the first maiden to be initiated under the supervision of the Very
Rev. Solomon Bruce, Minister in-charge of the Circuit.

He was assisted by some traditional
authorities for the success of the programme, aimed at giving the opportunity
to the maidens in the church to cherish their virginity and also lead
morally-upright lives.

The well-attended ceremony, interspersed with
traditional drumming and other customary rites, as part of measures to revive
African consciousness within the church.

Dubbed “2018 Traditional Day”, the programme
saw the young girl, clad in a white cloth (tied around the chest down to the
knee) and decked with some traditional beads being unveiled to the church,
after undergoing the ceremonial rites.

As part of the rites, the young lady being
initiated was also made to eat a special traditional meal (mashed ripe plantain
and some hard boiled) eggs.

Very Rev. Bruce, speaking to the Ghana News
Agency (GNA) on the sideline of the programme, said it was the first of such
cultural events to be openly held in the church.

The new move is widely seen as an aberration
of a debatable perception that customs and traditions should not part of
Christian worship, but Very Rev Bruce thinks otherwise.

“The Methodist Church sees nothing wrong with
the African culture,” he said, and affirmed the leadership’s resolve to
integrate acceptable traditional norms and values into the church’s activities.

“We are born into a society which has its own
culture. The church is, therefore, happy to bring back our heritage to help
members identify with Methodism”.

Very Rev. Bruce took a swipe at those who
considered African traditional beliefs and practices as fetish, saying this
must stop.


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