Chief Unhappy With Some Churches' Attitudes to Traditional Values

Accra Mail  (Accra)  May 20, 2005

Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, the Omanhene of the Oguaa Traditional Area,
has expressed concern that the proliferation of churches in the
country is leading to the erosion of the nation's cultural values and

He said the leaders of most of the churches have labeled the
celebration of festivals and other traditional activities as

Osabarimba Kwesi Atta made his observations earlier in the week when
he co-chaired the opening of a one-week conference on "Culture and
Education", aimed at creating awareness of the importance of culture
in formal education.

The conference, which ends this weekend, was organised by the
National Commission on Culture in collaboration with the ministry of
education with support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy and Konrad
Adenauer Foundation.

The participants include traditional rulers, officials from both the
public and private universities and from the ministries of education
and tourism.

The Chief stressed the importance of the nation's culture and
traditions and said, "You become a people of a nation first before
you choose a religion".

Osabarimba Kwesi Atta cited instances where some churches had
deliberately planned crusades and other activities outside Cape Coast
to coincide with the celebration of "Fetu Afahye" in a bid to ensure
that many of the residents do not participate in the festival.

Touching on the objectives of the conference, he expressed the hope
that recommendations made would not be "left to gather dust on the
shelves" but would be given attention.

Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the Minister of Education, also expressed concern
that modernization, urbanization and globalisation were impacting
negatively on the youth and even on some elderly persons in the
Ghanaian society.

He said many young people and some adults were forgetting their
culture and this showed in their dressing, behaviour, attitudes and

This development, he said, called for a conscious effort to redeem
the virtuous elements such as humility, care and respect for laws and
the elderly, hospitality and communalism