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Thinking the Faith, Praying the Faith, Living the Faith is written by the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship.

Thinking, praying, and living the faith is at the core of ministry in the Office of Theology and Worship. In the following videos, learn more about what thinking, praying, and living the faith means to the leadership of the Office of Theology and Worship. Discover why it matters and what difference it makes in our lives, work, and worship.  

Charles Wiley  
Barry Ensign-George
David Gambrell
Christine Hong 
Karen Russell

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July 18, 2013

Interfaith Engagement in Ghana

Interfaith Engagement in Ghana

 

One of the more interesting aspects of the church in Ghana is the immediacy of interfaith relations.  Ghana is predominately Christian, but has a significant Muslim population, and a significant number continue to practice traditional religions.  The Muslim population used to be limited to the northern region of the country (centered in Tamale), but because of migration to Accra and Kumasi in the south, there are Muslims throughout Ghana now. 

 

Right now I am in BolgatangaBolgatanga , and the call to prayer was broadcasting throughout the market when we were there yesterday. 

 

There are a couple of ways this interfaith reality impacts the church.  I was a bit astonished to discover that interfaith engagement is part of the training of new Christian believers.  The Presbyterian Church here has a practice of catechists, trained lay leaders who teach the faith to new believers.  The curriculum covers basic beliefs, Old and New Testament, power and presence of the Holy Spirit, and separate units on Islam and Traditional Religions.  It seems to me that in the U.S., interfaith engagement is kind of “advanced” area.  I found it really interesting that engagement and understanding of other religions is part of basic Christian formation here.

 

I also wanted to mention a bit more about the Interfaith Center we visited on Monday.  They’re preparing for their third women’s conference in two weeks.  They gave me a schedule of this conference covering several days, and I only saw one session on “interfaith issues,” covering religious fanaticism.  I was trying to figure out how this was an interfaith conference when so little of the content was on interfaith issues.  Duh . . . turns out I was assuming that this was a conference for Presbyterian women.  It is actually a conference for women who practice Christianity, Islam, and traditional African religions from all over Africa.  There are sessions on social entrepreneurship, transformational leadership, funds management, peace, development, etc.  This is interfaith relations in action more than discussing interfaith relations.  They make space for the Muslim participants to do daily prayers, and even have to serve meals a multiple times because it is Ramadan, so the Muslims women must eat before sunrise and after sunset. 

 

I asked them about how they dealt with the sometimes felt tension of witness to Jesus Christ and the work of building good relations with people of other faiths.  Emmanuel (see pic below) replied:  “Peaceful coexistence with people of others faiths is a Christian witness.”  May his kind increase! 

Here is a picture of the Interfaith Centre with Director Dr. Antwi, along with Michael Nortey and Emmanuel Tettey, and the World Mission Regional Liaison Joshua Heikkela. 

Interfaith Centre Accra

 


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