Prayerful People, Corrupt Nation, I Don�t Get It

President of the National Ministers Conference of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana is at a loss as to why corruption remains a serious problem despite the fervent religious posture of Ghana�s leaders. Reverend Professor Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mantey observes �it is more disheartening to know that almost all of the people in leadership are religious people. People are praying more but corruption is increasing more, I don�t get it�. Speaking at the National Ministers Conference of the church in Kumasi Tuesday, January 7, Reverend Professor Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mantey says government and the church must wake up in tackling the corruption. There are about 7,897 churches in Ghana as at the end of 2010 according to African Religious Union of the Catholic Church, Ghana (ARUG). This figure is seen as largely conservative. Ghana has a Christian population of 71.2% of the total population. Muslim account for 17.6% of the total. Traditional religions also account for 5.2% of the population. But corruption remains a topical issue in the country as governments have had to battle a negative perception. For two years, stories about public officials and private individuals colluding to pay huge judgment debt have been unending. Government has had to set up a Judgment Debt Commission to look into many payments deemed dubious. Governments also often deflect public criticism by touting their record of fighting corruption as better than the previous regime. But Reverend Professor Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mantey condemned the tendency as childish. He compared it to a student placing 35th in a class of 40 showing off his position as better than the last five. He also lashed out at �ugly frivolous lifestyles� of some pastors who have developed a taste of �worldly things� like cars, houses, designer clothing, rings and perfumes. �Frankly speaking, ministry is going bizarre�, he ranted.