“Hallelujah, Fellow Christians I would like to welcome you to the start of our 21days revival…….”
“Oh God not again, can you just speak and answer these guys prayers so I can learn in some silence for this end-of-semester exam.”
This has been my ordeal as a working student living in a house surrounded by two churches. One adjacent and the other just opposite the house and all within a 10 meter radius.
Ghana is a predominantly christian nation and we don’t joke with our church service even to an inconvenient degree. I’m a Christian and it’s taken a lot of negotiation with God to write this piece.
To put it bluntly, Church service is a lot of noise to an outsider. The drums, the base guitar and the loud speakers make everything around vibrate. How comfortable worshippers are with the ear-popping sound and it’s effect on their health is a topic for another day. The law though is clear on what constitutes noise and doesn’t distinguish where it’s emanating from, be it the Disco, Church, Mosque, Funeral grounds etc.
Monday through to Sunday, there’s always service and irrespective of the number of people at the service or the time of the day, the microphone is always in use and volume level is constant. A Friday all night service that runs till 5am Saturday morning will still be as loud as a Sunday morning service. Same is when 5 people attend a prayer session mid morning on Tuesday or Thursday.
Planning in many communities in the city and towns is nothing to write home about. This means churches are located right among residential buildings. With the rise of what Ghanaians term ‘One Man Churches’, many have sprung up in even compound houses.
You’re probably thinking there should be some law regulating the noise such churches make. Yes there is, at the national and the Municipal and district Assembly level. But the problem with this beautiful nation is, and will be until there is a change in our mental orientation, enforcement. Law enforcement in this country is selective. Maybe because they’re under equipped. Also could be no one wants to be called the devil for speaking or acting against the church. So the law just like this rant will exist in time and space but it’s effect will be limited if not rendered useless.
Since authorities have failed in enforcing the law, the onus has fallen on affected citizens to take such churches on for the right thing to be done.
Recently, a church at Kwabenya was made to compensate a resident for noise pollution after the said resident sued it. Could be the way to go or Churches could be proactive in ‘Giving to caesar what belongs to caesar and to God what belongs to him’ as the Holy Bible admonishes Christians to do.
The way forward
The church could respect the laws of the land by making sure their sound levels are within the approved decibels. Also the authorities could start enforcing the laws by applying the appropriate punitive measures to ensure compliance.
To obey is better than to Sacrifice, trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus. If only we the Christian folk would do what we sing each day, then we ourselves would live longer years to praise the Good name of the Lord all the days of our lives. But we choose to be hypocrites. May God forgive us.
By: Joseph Naah-Yerreh