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Godlessness gains ground in Ghana

Godlessness gains ground in Ghana

Sceptics in Ghana are not only making waves locally but also internationally according to leading Nigerian humanist and human rights campaigner Leo Igwe.

Writing this week for SpyGhana, Igwe drew attention to the fact that the Humanist Association of Ghana is organising an international conference on December 20-21, 2014.

Earlier this year, Roslyn Mould from Accra, above, became the first Ghanaian to be elected to the International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organisation (IHEYO). Despite a record number of nominations this year, Ms Mould now holds the position of Secretary of the African Working Group, whose President is Ugandan Kato Mukasa.

The Ghana conference will be held at the W E B Dubois Centre, Accra. The theme of the event is “African Youth for Science and Reason”. Topics to be discussed include Communicable diseases (Ebola, etc), Health and Medicine in West Africa, Science, Technology and Reason, Sex and Relationships as African Atheists, Feminism in Africa, and Witchcraft Accusations in West Africa. There are plans to organise trainings and workshops for participants. Igwe said:

The group is gradually becoming the hub of organised humanism in West Africa. Humanists in Ghana organised its first international humanist conference in 2012. That conference attracted participants from other West African countries and beyond. The event has demonstrated the vibrancy of organised humanism in one of the world’s most religious country.

At the time Ghana ranked as the most religious country in a survey of 57 nations.

Igwe pointed out that:

A lot has been said about the growing influence of religion in Sub Saharan Africa – the looming threat of jihadist Islam and evangelical Christianity – but no much has been said about the emergence of humanism, scepticism, secularism and free thought in the region.

An increasing number of Africans do not have any religion. Many people across the continent are going open and public with their humanist, atheistic and skeptical views and identity. Non religious Africans are leaving the closet in their numbers. African unbelievers are beginning to organise like their religious counterparts in many countries.

Godless people in Ghana are becoming visible. Non religious people are speaking out. The profile of humanism in Ghana is growing rapidly.

Humanists in Ghana, he said,  have staged many social gatherings in the past years. These have served to give non believers in Ghana a sense of community. There is a growing humanist fellowship in this west African country.

Not only is Ghana’s religious landscape is changing. Africa’s “beliefscape”is undergoing a dramatic transformation too.

Said Igwe:

Humanists are beginning to discover that there are other people of like minds. The humanist movement in Africa is growing in strength and number. A wave of secularism and freethought is sweeping across the region.

The theme of this conference is a welcome development for the region. Africa needs events that can expose its youths to reason and science.

It is imperative that African youths begin to think rationally and scientifically because reason and science are the mainstay of modern development.

One of the greatest obstacles to African development is superstition and religious extremism. These superstitious beliefs are common among young people. Religious fanaticism is draining Africa’s youth capital. African youths needs programmes that encourage them to think critically as opposed to activities that reward dogma and blind faith.

The members of the Humanist Association of Ghana are predominantly young people. This is a positive and promising development for the region. I hope other African youths will emulate their Ghanaian counterparts by embracing the values of reason science and critical thinking.

10 responses to “Godlessness gains ground in Ghana”

  1. Broga says:

    Really encouraging. The extreme anxiety of the religious comes from the believers knowing that once the very fact of doubt, of challenge and of evidence, which corrodes belief, gains a foothold then they face big problems. I’m sure there is a critical point where the religious edifice starts to crumble.

    This has already happened in the UK. What we are left with is a façade, a shell which is presented by the BBC, politicians and a fading C. of E. Atheism, based on analysis, curiosity and free thinking must win in the end. The belief systems depend of ignorance, censorship and threat.

  2. Rob Andrews says:

    Sure religions must use propaganda and censorship to further their idologys. Believers always say to me there beliefs are ‘strong’ or unshakeable’. If so why are they worried about atheist/secular ideas coming to the public arena- expecially when itr comes to their children.

    To a person whos beliefs are ‘unshakeable’, there should be no problem. But when I explain this contradiction to them they just state at me with wide eyes or get angry, and change the subject.

    Makes me hjust want to grab them and shake them!!…Science flies you to the moon;religion flies you into buildings”–Victor Stenger. They hatwe this quote

  3. Paul Cook says:

    Rob

    I think deep down they realise how fragile the entire religion thing is.
    You are right, if it were such a brilliant thing, the absolute truth, what are they afraid of and why not allow criticism or inquiry of it and of any religion, now in 2014 more than ever islam. The problem is that the religious believe that because it is a religion it can’t be critiqued at all because it comes from god. And that is the very crux of the problem.

    They can’t answer the very basic question as what is god. It is not possible to provide an answer and the answers they do provide prompt and provoke more questions, the resulting answers they give ends up in their responses simply being circular.

  4. Stephen Mynett says:

    This report was pleasing to see and, although it is OT, so is this: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/12/11/us-usa-religion-ark-idUKKBN0JP06H20141211

  5. Marky Mark says:

    Past few days I’ve been watching videos on youtube and more and more scientist around the world are fed up with the religious claim of a 6000 year old earth and how these religious folks keep trying to have it taught in schools as fact… Neil DeGrass Tyson really got pissed when they claimed dinosaurs were on the Ark by saying, “Now they crossed the line into my turf”

  6. Marky Mark says:

    A bit off topic but I found some encouraging news here, seems the Creation Theme Park in Kentucky has been accused of religious discrimination in hiring and lost out on 18 million in tax breaks

    Here:
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/12/11/3602361/ark-park-endures-flood-of-criticism-loses-tax-breaks/

  7. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    This is really good news. Africa needs to break free from the shackles of religion if it is ever to prosper.

  8. Robster says:

    Rob Andrews said “they just stare at me with wide eyes or get angry, and change the subject”. The thing is, you know they know they’re lying because they don’t and won’t look at you. Religiously stricken people have developed a special method of not looking at people who question their belief system because their eyes give the charade away unless they’re professional clergy sales people. What they do is sort of get slightly cross-eyed and look over your left should, not quite meeting your gaze. That way they can feel secure thinking they’ve got you sucked in.

  9. Robster says:

    Errr..”left shoulder”. Sorry..

  10. Bubblecar says:

    Good news for modern man…

    Nice to see more positive reporting like this in the Freethinker, so I don’t only peep in here when I’m in the mood for fuming 🙂