The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs is set to hold a regional stakeholder consultation on the Draft National Policy on Religion to provide a framework for the promotion of the rights and freedoms of all religious groups.
The policy also seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts that may arise from religious differences.
In his address at a press conference on Tuesday in Accra, the Sector Minister, Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, announced that the ministry was working with key stakeholders to put together a draft policy to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens, regardless of their beliefs.
The consultations, according to him, are crucial steps in the development of a comprehensive and inclusive policy that would promote religious harmony, diversity and tolerance in the country.
He indicated that the 2021 population and housing census by the Ghana Statistical Service identified 21.9 million Ghanaians as Christians, 6.1 million Ghanaians as Muslims,1 million Ghanaians as traditionalists, 1.4 million in other religions and about 400,00 non-religious.
“With these statistics, it is safe to project that almost all Ghanaians are religious, adding that this makes the job more interesting and intriguing,” he said.
He announced that, the stakeholder consultations on the process of reviewing the draft National Policy on Religion has been scheduled to take place in 16 regions.
Mr Asamoah Boateng noted that whilst the government plays its part in protecting Ghanaians, religious leaders have also constantly prayed and sacrificed for the people, adding that it was necessary to work together to continue to enjoy peace on the religious front.
On his part, the UNFPA Country Representative, Dr Wilfred Ochan, said most people all over the world look up to religious leaders for guidance, direction or inspiration, especially when they are venturing into new and unfamiliar areas.
He said the organisation recognised the unique role of religious leaders, hence the decision to partner with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs to deliver on its mandate.
He added that religious leaders are central in mobilising the population to fight against gender-based violence and child marriage and ensure that young people are supported and protected.
“It will bring a huge benefit to the country and the society,’ he said.
Priscilla Osei-Wusu Nimako, ISD