Adventists and Muslims Resolve Violent Conflict in Ghana
By AT News Team, Feb. 26, 2015: The Seventh-day Adventist congregation in Atebubu, Ghana, has resolved a land dispute with the local Muslim community, according to the Ghana News Agency (GNA). In an effort to mend relations after a violent confrontation in mid-February, the Adventist Church has given the disputed land to the Muslims.
The initial investigation revealed that twelve Muslim youth “spearheaded the misunderstanding between the two religious groups,” reported GNA. The Daily Guide described the destruction of property on February 13, reporting that a crowd of more than 1,000 Muslim young people “stormed the SDA church premises near the Atebubu Government Hospital on Friday afternoon after the mid-day prayers with guns and offensive weapons.” The crowd then “set the newly built mission house ablaze and further brought down the walls around the church and demolished the temple.”
The destroyed mission house “accommodated close to 20 teacher trainees who are doing their teaching practice in the school. They lost valuable items such as laptops, cellular phones, books and certificates, among others,” reported Ghana Nation.
To resolve the on-going conflict, the regional security council facilitated a dialog, which lasted more than five hours. At the conclusion, the two religious groups signed a peace pact, according to GNA. “We forgive our brothers who destroyed our property,” said Adventist pastor Paul Amo Kyeremeh, president of the Mid-North Ghana Conference of the Adventist Church. Kyeremeh continued, “We have surrendered the piece of land behind the controversy to you, our Muslim brothers and sisters, to end the rift.”
In response, “Alhaji Gyasi Ahmed Dauda, the Regional Board Chairman for Muslims in Brong-Ahafo, expressed his contentment that the misunderstanding had been resolved and gave the assurance that the Muslim Community would live peacefully with the other religious organizations in the Region,” reported GNA. Dauda stated: “We are very sorry about what happened and our position is to build a new mission house for the church.”
Despite Kyeremeh’s statement of forgiveness, the regional security council has ordered the arrest of the twelve suspects accused of inciting the February 13 attack.