The Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister-designate, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, has called for religious harmony and building of harmonious inter-faith relations.
The Minister-designate made the appeal when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting. He stressed the need to harmonize the country’s religions to bring peace and propel national development.
“Yes, unfortunately there are religious groups that spring up; sometimes nobody knows who they are and what they do. So, there is the need for the Ministry to embark on research, and also to get data collected and make sure we have database to ensure sanity,” he stated.
Mr Asamoah Boateng noted that the 1992 Constitution of Ghana also provides for freedom of religious practice. Accordingly, he said, once Ghanaians are conscious of the provision in Article 21 of the 1992 Constitution, they must agree to live in peace.
He urged Muslims, Christians, traditionalists and other religious bodies in the country to endeavour to live in peace and harmony with each other.
The Minister-designate said the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs exists to develop effective interface between government, religious bodies and civil society on matters relating to chieftaincy and religious affairs for the promotion of peace and good governance.
He said when given the nod by the House, he would make sure that traditional authorities are lifted higher to a more dignified and noble status.
Touching on the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ), Mr Asamoah Boateng said he opposes same-sex marriage in the country.
On the conflict in Bawku, Mr. Asamoah Boateng assured Ghanaians of his readiness to provide the needed resources to the National House of Chiefs in their bid to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis.
According to him, the government’s role of enforcing law and order would be ensured, but the “fundamental issue of chieftaincy, land matters and all that would be deferred to the traditional authorities.”