The leadership of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) has said it stands by the Presiding Bishop of Perez Chapel International, Bishop Charles Agyinasare who has been threatened over his comments on national issues.
In a statement signed by the President of the GPCC, Rev Prof Paul Frimpong-Manso, the Council said, “The purpose of this statement is to declare our strong support for the Presiding Bishop, who is a long-standing member of the Council and who rose to occupy the very high position of First Vice-President of the Council”.
GPCC said its leadership “has noted with concern, some of the reactions” to Bishop Agyinasare’s pronouncements in the past one month, observing that some of these reactions have been in the form of “insults, threats of harm, casting of innuendos, political branding etc.,” which the Council condemned as “very unfortunate”.
“We wish to recall that since the beginning of the month of July, the Presiding Bishop has been teaching on the theme: ‘Building A Future After Covid-19’.
“The purpose is to help build a foundation for youth development as the next generation to take over this nation. In doing this, the Presiding Bishop has been highlighting issues on the political landscape, the attitude of civil servants and the clergy front, which should not have been so and which could be done differently”.
“He has also sought to draw examples from his personal life, including his marriage, his financial dealings to encourage the youth that in the midst of present-day promiscuity, it is possible to live a life of chastity and integrity”, the statement noted.
It added, “We urge the press and the general public not to twist, distort, misrepresent, misreport or take out of context statements made by the Presiding Bishop and give them sensational headlines with the objective of giving the Presiding Bishop a ‘political bad name’ in order to hang him”.
The Council also called on the two main political parties in Ghana “to call their executives and members to order”.
“As the nation enters the political campaign season, we wish to admonish the entire citizenry to do all we can to keep the political temperature at its lowest minimum and conduct all political activities with civility and decorum,” the Council urged.
It added, “Let’s make the campaign one of ideas, programmes for national development and peace and not one of insults, casting of aspersions, character assassination, violence and any actions that will threaten the peace and stability of our dear motherland”.
The Council also wished Ghanaians “peaceful campaigns and a free, fair and transparent elections, which will produce a God-given leader and government for this nation”.
A week ago, Bishop Charles Agyinasare said he has been receiving threats and insults over the past few weeks that he has been calling out societal evils but said those things will not stop him from speaking his mind.
In his virtual sermon on Sunday, 26 July 2020, titled: ‘There is a cause for integrity and honesty’, which was part of his ‘Building after Covid-19’ series, the Perez Chapel International founder said a lot of his friends and loved ones have called and “pleaded with me to stop preaching what I am preaching on national transformation”, adding: “Most of them say Ghana is set in her ways and would not change”.
The Nation’s Prophet and Pastor, as Bishop Agyinasare is popularly called, said: “Well, Jonah did not believe wicked Nineveh would change but when he declared God’s word, they repented and fasted in sackcloth and ashes”.
The word of God, he said, “has the power to change people: it is a hammer that can break hardened hearts, it is a fire that can consume, it is like water that can wash the most sin covered soul, it like a light that can shine on the power of the worst of sinners”.
Bishop Agyinasare said his recent remarks on national issues and the attacks those comments have brought to him, have got some of his family and friends concerned to the extent that they are begging him to stop.
“Some of my loved ones said: ‘These politicians and their supporters, hmmm; they are dangerous ohhh! they can do something against you’”.
In his view, if that’s “how we see politicians now, is there not a cause for me to preach to change it?”
“My amazement is whether it has come to the place in democratic Ghana, where I speak and people who are not happy (basically they disagree with me) and instead of they saying they disagree with me and stating their side, some of them issue threats, some insult me and people are saying: ‘Charles, you must be afraid, beef up your security and don’t sleep at home’”.
“Well, our senior politicians, Nana Akufo-Addo and John Mahama, that is how much your noble profession has been reduced to. It is being said and perceived that you and your fellows hire thugs to beat and even get people killed because they disagree with you.
“Meanwhile, the Akan name for democracy is ‘Ka bi na me ka bi aman buo’ – ‘speak your mind and let me speak my mind’ kind of government, Bishop Agyinasare noted.
He said if journalists like Ambassador Kabral Blay Amihere, Kweku Baako Jr., Kwesi Pratt, Ben Ephson, among others, “went to jail, had to report regularly to the Bureau of National Investigations, had people follow them because they wrote and demanded free speech in the mid-1980s under a revolution”, then “is it not unfortunate that we could get it and in a democracy, we are being made to know that we are not free to talk anymore?”.
“I am the last person who would want to insult or disrespect anyone”, Bishop Agyinasare said.
According to him, he is not the spokesperson for any political party but rather serves as “God’s linguist”.