The Ghana Police Service has urged religious leaders and faith-based organizations to exercise caution when issuing prophesies as part of events celebrating the end of the year watchnight ceremonies.
In a statement dated December 27, 2023, the police asked the public to follow current rules against the dissemination of fake news.
While the law recognizes people’s freedom to exercise their faith, it also protects and demands respect for the rights of others and the public interest, according to the police.
“As the year comes to an end, the Ghana Police Service respectfully wishes to remind the general public, especially the religious community, of the law on publication of false news and urges its continuous compliance.
“We are grateful to faith-based groups and individuals for their compliance with the law so far, particularly in communicating prophecies. While this has protected the rights and freedoms of those who are normally affected by these prophecies, it has also fostered a society free of needless panic, fear and alarm.
“We urge the general public, especially faith-based groups and individuals, to continue to be patriotic and abide by the law, to ensure that the prevailing state of law, order and security in our beloved country is maintained,” the statement said.
In recent years, the authorities have clamped down on doomsday prophesies, citing their ability to instill fear and terror in the public and in those who are the targets of such forecasts.
Since then, the police have released a statement at the end of each year asking pastors to follow the rules against the dissemination of false news.
In this year’s message, police urged religious communities to practice their beliefs in accordance with the law.
“The Police will like to remind the public that while we have the right to practice: our faith and freedom of speech as guaranteed by our constitution and democratic values, we want to reiterate that the enjoyment of these rights are subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.
“As we have come to consider December 27th as Prophecy Communication Compliance Day, the Ghana Police Service is once again urging religious communities to practice their faith within the legal framework,” the police said.
Read the statement below: