The Ghana National Cathedral forms part of the national monuments to Ghana’s 60th Independence Anniversary.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on 6th March, 2017, cut sod for the construction of a national non-denominational christian cathedral in Accra. The project forms part of the national monuments to Ghana’s 60th Independence celebrations.
During the unveiling of Ghana’s 60th Independence Anniversary logo and theme held on 9th February, President Nana Akufo-Addo had said that government is going to embark on several national projects to serve as monuments to the country’s Diamond Jubilee. He indicated then that the [email protected] Planning Committee, in collaboration with other concerned groups and individuals, will come up with suggestions on the projects to be embarked on.
Among these national projects, is the Ghana National Cathedral which will be located inside the premises of the National Scholarship Secretariat, behind the Parliament House of Ghana. The building is meant to serve as a national place of worship and a location for important religious ceremonies at its completion.
Controversies – Attorney General Sued
The national cathedral project has been greeted with mixed reactions from Ghanaians and stakeholders across the country. While some accepted it as necessary and beneficial, others have rejected it on the grounds that government is not supposed to be involved in religious activities, considering the fact that Ghana is a secular state.
Among the active critics of the project is James Kwabena Bomfeh, a member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), who has gone ahead to file a suit against the government on the matter. Mr. Bomfeh is arguing that government is not supposed to involve herself in religious matters such as building a religious cathedral or supporting pilgrimages.
In his writ, Kwabena Bomfeh is praying the Supreme Court for “a declaration that the decision of the Government of Ghana to purposely endorse, assist, aid, partly sponsor, and/or support the construction of a National Cathedral near the State House of Ghana, for Christian interdenominational church services amounts to an excessive entanglement of the Republic of Ghana and religion and therefore unconstitutional”.
He is also praying that “the setting up of a Hajj Board by the Government of the Republic of Ghana for the purpose of coordinating, supporting and/or aiding Ghanaian Muslims to embark on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca” be declared unconstitutional.
We would recall that the Akufo-Addo government recently inaugurated a new National Hajj Board, a body saddled with the management of Muslim pilgrimages and related matters.
This is however, not the first time the government of Ghana is committing itself to religious projects. In 1995, the Ghanaian government partnered with Turkish government to construct a national mosque, with an initial donation of $10 million from the latter.
Akufo-Addo Undeterred – “National Cathedral Dear To My Heart”
Despite all the persecutions being received because of the Ghana National Cathedral project, President Akufo-Addo has remained undeterred towards the vision and is very determined to see it come to fruition.
Speaking to members of the Christian Council of Ghana who paid a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House on Tuesday, 14th March, Nana Addo stated categorically that the cathedral project is very dear to his heart.
“It is a project that is very dear to my heart, and I’m hoping that together we will be able to realize it…” Nana Addo said.
The President said that no matter how long the project will take, he will ensure it’s commencement first; adding that it is a good idea that will be to the benefit of the Christian community in Ghana. He therefore asked for the endorsement and support of the project by the Christian Council.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has indicated that the Ghana National Cathedral will not be built with state funds. According to the president, funds will be raised from churches and the entire christian community in the country, to cater for the project. An 11-member committee has already been set up to go about the fund raising.