BY J E SOLOMON
NICHOLAS Duncan-Williams, (born 12 May 1957) the Presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of the charismatic Action Chapel International (ACI) ministry, headquartered in Accra, Ghana, recently made very incendiary remarks in a thoughtless attempt to trash the Muslim religion and all its followers.
I’m NOT a Muslim, but I’ve no reason to shut my beak (I mean, hide my pen, literally) in the face of such reckless and highly inflammable gaffe from someone who seemed to be unaware of the repercussions of his misguided utterances, especially in a country where Muslims and Christians have coexisted harmoniously and peacefully for so long that Ghana, for a long time, was regarded as one of the most peaceful and hospitable country in the world.
I used the word thoughtless specifically because what the archbishop said regarding the Muslim religion was all trash. Something to be expected from an ignorant person and not a person with his standing. I don’t need to repeat them here.
There’s a BIG difference between true followers of the Muslim religion and those who hide behind the religion to foment hatred. It has become too obvious that the heinous activities we’re seeing today in the name of Jihad are not perpetrated by those who are truly followers of the religion. And someone like Duncan-Williams should know better.
Is the archbishop unaware of the emergence of pastors of questionable characters in Ghana who have invaded Christ’s ministry and doing all kinds of unchristian (ungoldly) practices in the name of Christianity? Is he not aware of pastors who have been exposed to have gone for objects purported to have supernatural powers from so-called powerful fetish priests and juju men? Objects of charm that are said to make these pastors to succeed in their ministerial work.
Unguarded utterances like the kind spewed by Duncan-Williams have the potential to arouse intense hate feelings in a country that had enjoyed religious freedom and unparalleled peaceful coexistence for so long a time. Ghana’s example had been extolled for years. For decades it was such a welcome practice seeing Christians and Muslims celebrating each other’s annual festival.
As a youth, I always looked forward to the end-of-fasting festivals by Muslims. They were joyful moments for our Muslim brothers and sisters as they were for us as Christians. The yearly Abalabi Dance parties that were organized at popular dance halls in the city of Accra were as glorious to me as well as my Christian buddies. Our Muslims friends, similarly always looked forward every year to the glamorous celebrations of Christmas. As people of one nation, religious differences NEVER separated us. We were very tolerant of each other. We welcomed each other’s festivals with joy and excitement. Never once did I hear any man of God or clergy condemn another’s religion. And that’s why I find Duncan-Williams’ trashing utterances as unguarded and unfortunate.
For those who do not know the man Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, the following will throw some light unto his background.
“Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams was born on 12 May 1957. He was the son of a politician-diplomat. His parents separated when he was a child, and he was raised by his mother, a nurse, in Wa and Bolgatanga. He was restless as a youth, and twice stowed away on ships to Europe. Duncan-Williams was converted in 1976 by the Acquah sisters at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. In 1977 he went to the Church of God International Bible School of Benson Idahosa in Benin City, Nigeria. In 1979 he returned to Ghana, where he founded Christian Action Faith Ministries (CAFM) and the Action Chapel International (ACI) church. The CAFM seems to have been the first Charismatic church in Ghana. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Duncan-Williams)
I hope that all right-thinking religious leaders in Ghana will come together in the spirit of love and brotherhood, and for the sake of our beloved country Ghana and condemn Archbishop Duncan-Williams for his careless utterances. In the past, religious leaders in Ghana, recognizing the oneness of all faiths and with great respect, have welcomed and embraced other religious groups without openly condemning one another. Archbishop Duncan-Williams should not try to become the black sheep. Ghana does NOT need people like him, especially at a time when religious extremism is making the world very unsafe.