The Ghana Police Service, in a statement on Monday, asked religious group leaders to be measured in their prophetic utterances that may injure the rights of others and public interest as the year draws to a close.
The statement, signed by Supt. Alexander Kwaku Obeng, Director of Public Affairs, said it was a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour, or a report, which was likely to disturb the public peace without evidence.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, the Reverend Emmanuel T. Barrigah, the General Secretary of GPCC, said the call by the Police Administration was in order.
“Prophecies in themselves are expected to edify and glorify God and where there is the need to also rebuke those who might have fallen foul of the law of God, we should not hesitate to do so,” he said.
“Where prophecies become a threat or become a prediction of death and harm, there is a question mark on those kinds of prophecies.”
Rev. Barrigah said he could not fathom why end-of-year prophecies were mostly centered on negative issues and not positive ones that would propel national unity and prosperity.
“We must stop those doomsday and death prophecies. Why is that we can only predict harm and death and not positive things?” he asked.
Rev. Barrigah urged the Christian community to be careful and measured in their celebration of the New Year, bearing in mind the presence of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19.
He said the GPCC had issued a circular to its members, encouraging them to, as much as possible, hold out-door services to usher in the New Year.
“We have also asked them to ensure that all the preventive protocols, including hand-washing, hand sanitising, and wearing of nose masks, are strictly observed in addition to sanitising all the things we use at the church,” he said.
The Police had warned that it was a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that is false or misleading and likely to endanger the safety of others.
“A person found guilty under these laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years,” the police said.