Christians and Animists Face Off Over Loud Worship in Ghana
Now that the center of Christianity has shifted away from Europe and the West to Africa, Asia, and Latin America, a lot of folks are worried about syncretism. As Weblog has earlier noted, such concerns tend to de-emphasize how much the West has syncretized Christianity with local values and customs and overlook the animosity that Christians often hold toward the beliefs they or their ancestors used to hold. The latter is currently being illustrated in Accra, Ghana, where Homowo, the harvest festival, has begun. Homowo is practiced by the Ga, a mostly animist people who constitute about 10 percent of Ghana's population but are most common in the capital city of Accra. Depending on who you ask, Homowo either means "hooting or jeering at hunger," or "hunger tomorrow," but in practice what it means is the outlawing of drums and loud music for a month. That's a problem for Accra's Christian churches, which regularly use loud music and drums in Sunday morning worship.
In most past years, the Ga Traditional Council (the ruling body of elders) simply ignored the churches, which in turn tried not to antagonize. But according to The Daily Mail and Guardian of Johannesburg, South Africa, this year is different. "The Ga people will not allow widespread violation of the ban," even in churches, acting Traditional Council president Nii Adottey Obuo said.
Sam Koranchie Ankrah, a leader of the Charismatic Churches Association, responds, "We will not be intimidated by the threat from the Ga Traditional Council. We have the right to worship and we would go ahead. It is up to the security authorities to ensure that a group of people under the name of tradition do not infringe our constitutional ...