- Nana Addo has decried the taste for prosperity by some churches
- The president has urged churches to be wary of misleading the youth
- Nana made these comments in an address at the Global Evangelical Church
President Akufo-Addo has given his outlook on developments in Ghana's churches. The president, delivering a presentation at the Global Evangelical Church has made some strong statements about the prosperity-driven culture of churches and how that attracts taxes among other concerns.
YEN.com.gh has culled out the 7 strongest points of the president's speech, under the theme; "Effective Discipleship – the Cross and Our Commitment” - that adds on to recent calls for churches to be taxed.
1. The thirst for money and fame
The president, in his speech, touched on how much churches of today have changed focus and now focused on prosperity and fame:
"The churches were seen as leading the drive for development; they built and ran schools and hospitals, they led the campaign for good sanitation, cleanliness was next to godliness, they preached and practiced.
There were church services, where worshippers sang to their heart’s content, but there was no question of keeping whole communities awake night after night, nor were there churches that were sources of noise nuisance. The priests and church leaders led lives that the average person could identify with",
2. Pastors are now competing among themselves.
Nana Addo fears that churches of these days are not confusing Ghanaians with their competition with one another. He feels the competition among pastors is just not good enough.
"The public looks on as priests compete to show who is the more powerful and who is the richer. The public looks on as some of the churches appear to forget about the poor and the vulnerable in our society, and concentrate on being outrageous," he stated.
3. The church not practicing what it preaches
The president also argued that the church of today fails to practice sections of the Bible is preaches about. He is worried pastors are now focused on signs and miracles other than the real principles of live.
"It is important that we do not debase the principles we purport to uphold. If the Church would have the people believe that our survival and prosperity depend on miracles, those of us in government have an impossible task."
4. The ardent shift to wonders and miracles
"Education and hard work have been shown to be the surest path to success for both individuals and nations, and our country would not make any progress if the Church should contradict and undermine this principle, by preaching miracles as the answer to our needs."
To tax or not to tax churches
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it will be investigating churches that rake in much revenue that is subsequently not taxed.
There have been calls for the GRA to tax the services of Churches who, according to many, has been a highly lucrative business venture.
Speaking to the media on recent development in Ghana's tax administrative regime, the commissioner general stated that it will pay informants 25 percent of a penalty against the churches that are hiding under a fellowship to make money without paying taxes to the state.
“The Authority is conducting an investigation based on its own intelligence but has thrown word out to the public to work as informants who should report such churches who hide under fellowship to make money,” he revealed.
The GRA is currently tightening its tax-collection loopholes as part of efforts to meet its 2018 revenue target. Only 1.2 million out of the 30 million population in Ghana are paying taxes.
Out of the 1.2 million, 1 million are in the formal sector and 200 thousand are in the informal sector. This implies that the contribution of the informal sector to total tax revenue is below 5 percent creating a huge gap in the national revenue generation.
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