Mixed Reaction Over Proposed Taxation Of Churches Among Clergy

The proposed taxation of Churches announced by the government has sparked varying degrees of debate among the Clergy, including the public and Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s).

The recent to add their voice to the debate are the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Paul Annan and the minister in charge of the Wesley Methodist Church, Very Rev. Ebenezer Essel, all in Agona Nyakrom.

They both express support for the taxation of Churches, but advised that care should be taken in identifying churches that do not contribute anything to society.

According to the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Annan, lack of stricter regulations by the government has contributed to the proliferation of Churches, producing fake, self-styled prophets who engage in all manner of unacceptable activities that turn to tarnish the image of the ministry.

He argued that the traditional orthodox Churches, unlike the Charismatic which are often referred to as the ‘’one man churches’’ contribute a lot to society in the area of the establishment of schools, hospitals as well as the provision of social services as their contribution to the development of society.

He disclosed that in its small way, the Our Lady of Assumption Church has established a school, Ave Maria Preparatory School to provide basic education to children in the Agona Nyakrom township and its surrounding communities, most of whom would have been out of school.

Very Rev. Ebenezer Essel of the Methodist Church also supported the argument by Rev. Fr. Annan, stressing that some of these ‘’one man churches sell anointing oils, holy water and even charge consultation fees from their members without putting anything back into society, hence there is the need for them to pay taxes to the State.

But the founder and leader of the Holy Life and Fire Ministry also in Agona Nyakrom, Rev. Justice Forson contended that it will be wrong to taxes all Charismatic Churches, because according to him, some of them are also contributing their quota to society, indirectly.

According to him, most of the ‘’one man Churches ‘’ have established schools that pay taxes to the State.

He cited his own school established by the Church which he said has supported a number of students financially, even to the tertiary level.

He hinted that his Church is currently offering scholarship to over thirty six students in his school.

Rev. Forson made this argument at a 3-Day Prophetic Encounter organized by the Church over the weekend.

By. Robert Ayanful

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