As the world draws nearer to celebrating the new year 2022, the Ghanaian Police Service has warned religious leaders in the country against prophesying “harm, danger and death” and others that could “create tension and panic” in the country.
Clergymen are known to make prophecies about countries and people as a new year emerges.
In a statement released by its Director, Public Affairs, Supt. Alexander Obeng, the Ghanaian police said persons found guilty of causing tension in the Ghanaian society through injurious prophecies are liable to a five-year jail term.
”GHANA POLICE SERVICE STATEMENT ON COMMUNICATION OF PROPHECIES AND THEIR LEGAL IMPLICATIONS
1. As the year 2021 draws to a close, the Ghana Police Service wishes to draw the attention of Ghanaians, especially religious groups, to the fact that whereas we have the right to religion, freedom of worship and free speech, all of these rights are subject to the respect for the rights and freedoms of others according to our laws.
2. Over the years, communication of prophesies of harm, danger and death, by some religious leaders, have created tension and panic in the Ghanaian society and put the lives of many people in fear and danger.
3. We want to caution that under Ghanaian law, it is a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, where that person has no evidence to prove that the statement, rumour or report is true.
4. It is also a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life saving service or to endanger the safety of any person.
5. A person found guilty under these laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years.
6. We therefore wish to caution all Ghanaians, especially religious groups and leaders to be measured in their utterances, especially how they communicate prophecies, which may injure the right of others and the public interest.
7. The Ghana Police Service wishes to place on record that the Police are not against prophecies; we acknowledge that we Ghanaians are a religious people who know, and believe in, the centrality of God in our lives.”