Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Should It Be Mandatory For Places Of Worship In Ghana To Be Soundproofed?

In a recently reported incident, a lady diplomat, H. E. Hajia Hawawu Boya Gariba, Ghana's deputy ambassador to Saudi Arabia, apparently had to fire a warning shot to stop members of Tamale's Spring of Life Assembly Church, from besieging her home on the very day Christmas was being celebrated.

It ought to be noted by the authorities in Ghana that it is from such isolated confrontations that religious conflicts between Christians and Moslems are sparked elsewhere. Some of the northern states of our sister country Nigeria come readily to mind.

Apparently, Hajia Gariba had implored members of the Spring of Life Assembly Church on many occassions to be more considerate of their neighbours and be less noisy during worship service - and her many complaints about the excessive noise from the church to the authorities had yielded  no results either.

The last straw was on Christmas day, when a young boy she  is said to have sent to the church with a message pleading for the volume of the loudspeakers used for the worship service music to be lowered, was apparently maltreated by some members of the congregation - who then subsequently attempted to enter Hajia Gariba's house to confront her: obviously incensed that she had dared to demand that they make less noise on 25th December of all days.

Only God knows what would have transpired if that poor boy had died from shock because of the angry response the message he delivered from Hajia Gariba elicited from the congregation, and word had spread across Tamale - a predominantly Moslem city - about the incident. It just doesn't bear thinking.

It is totally unacceptable that H. E. Hajia Gariba, a responsible and law-abiding citizen, was driven to resort to taking extreme measures, because of the selfish and callous disregard of her rights by the members of the Spring of Life Assembly Church, in her Tamale neighbourhood.

Surely, the time has now come for Christians in our country to tackle excessive noisemaking by congregations during worship service in churches across Ghana?

It is unpardonable that some of the followers of Jesus Christ in our homeland Ghana can be so inconsiderate of the rights of others when worshipping God.

Why does it seldom occur to some of them that they might just be disturbing their neighbours playing high volume music to accompany their singing and dancing when worshipping during church services?

It is important that Christian congregations in  churches across Ghana start becoming more conscious of their neighbours' human rights. People living near churches have a right not to be disturbed by excessive noise made by congregations of  churches in their neighbourhoods.

Christian congregations ought to take cognisance of the fact that when they use drums and other musical instruments during church services, decibel levels should not cause a nuisance to others in the neighbourhoods where those churches  they worship at are located.

If worshippers in churches continue to refuse to  be reasonable in this matter, perhaps the authorities here should follow Rwanda's example in  dealing with noisy places of worship: Enact legislation making it mandatory for all places of worship  in Ghana to be soundproofed. Enough is enough. Haaba.

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