I have been desiring to write something worth reading yet procrastinating anytime I get the chance to do so. Till one day, my writing senses were awoken in a commercial vehicle popularly called in our local dialect as “Trotro”. It was that fateful day that I chanced upon this worrisome issue occurring everyday right in front of us.

Closing from work on a busy Monday evening, I boarded a “trotro” from Ashaiman heading to Circle. Feeling exhausted from my first day at work, I decided to take a nap since the journey would take a couple of hours due to the heavy traffic. Just when we set off from the station, our “trotro” was stopped at Klagon under Bridge by a passenger. She swiftly sat at the back seat of the car where I was one row in front of her.

Few minutes she entered the car, she had a call from someone who seems like a close relative per the conversation they had. It was the details of her call that woke me up from my slumber. Unanticipatedly, I sat up in my seat to listen closely to whatever she was saying on the phone. I did not mean to eavesdrop on her conservation but what I overheard took me aback.

On the phone, she made it known to the receiver on the call that she had been fruitful in seeing the man of God. However, the Pastor disclosed to her that in order for her to see him she has to pay for consultation fee of GH₵ 100. Even so, it does not guarantee her to come at any time to see him if not properly communicated with him beforehand. She went on to say that, the Pastor also entreats all congregants to buy holy water pegged at GH₵50, anointing oil pegged at GH₵50 and other things which she failed to mention.

What even sent chills down my spine, was her last statement. According to her, the Pastor is charging GH₵2000 and above for counselling. Immediately, I gulped down saliva and adjusted myself again in my seat. To my bewilderment, the Pastor actually takes this exorbitant amount of money all in the name of counselling. How a broad daylight extortion can happen in the house of God baffles me. These men of God who are supposed to teach us the right path to look up to God are rather hiding behind the masks of religion (Christianity) to dupe gullible individuals of their hard earned money.

Meanwhile, these very people who sends their money to these so called Pastors have their wards not going to schools. They claim that they do not have the kind of money charged as school fees but they can fill the accounts of these Pastors. Whiles my tuition fees in the tertiary was tantamount to a counselling fee a Pastor is charging. Why then should a parent be grumpy about important things concerning their kids. Recently, I heard a parent complaining about the expenses she had to make before her kid go to the secondary which the government had burdened almost half of it. Yet, they will quickly take a colossal amount to Pastors all in the name of miracles and breakthroughs. They build mansions, ride in luxurious cars, have bodyguards and the most annoying part is where they send their children to school in abroad as well as enjoying weekend or summer vacations with their families in expensive suites. At the same time, church members are in the church draining their coffers for breakthroughs.

Let’s, reflect upon this question as you read this article. What is the difference between our now man of God and our former colonial masters who used religion to exploit our forefathers of their resources and minerals? They both capitalized on religion to induce some kind of fear into their victims so as to yield the desirable results. They have turned themselves into bedbugs sucking naïve victim’s blood and leaving them dry. The funniest thing is, before they devour their prey, they first of all entice them with quotation on giving in the Bible in order to make it seems like is an obligatory command.

Dear readers, who should be blamed for this demoralized situation happening in the house of God. Is it the people for putting all their trust in their Pastors instead of God? Or Is it the Pastors for making themselves demigod and duping people to amass wealth? Or Is the government for making living conditions higher than individual’s income?

Nevertheless, in my point of view, I suggest that the church has a responsibility of re-socializing the congregant on whom they should depend on when they are in crises. Instead of trusting in a human being who is a servant to the Supreme Being whom they seek their help from.

BY: GIFTY C. AMOAKO

EMAIL: claraamoako5@gmail.com

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