Much of the early history of Ghana revolved around the trade in gold, ivory, slaves, and salt. Ghana became the first black African colony to receive its independence in 1957, and it has been a democratic multi-party system since 1992. The Spiritual Need in Ghana: Although a large percentage of the population is nominally Christian, only a few attend church regularly. Protestant groups have been working in Ghana for almost a century, but for the most part, they are liberal. Voodooism, a form of animism, is practiced hand in hand with Christianity. Numerous indigenous cults have arisen with a distinct appeal and just enough truth to lead many astray. Buddhism and Spiritism are growing in popularity, The Word of Faith movement and a surge of prosperity gospel preachers have an attractive appeal, and yet Biblical truths are being lost.
The face of Christianity in Ghana has shifted to another level in recent times. More people are breaking away from The Word of Faith churches to form their own. These people leave sometimes because of the fracases they have with their founders. The defectors often complain of their founders not allowing them to use their spiritual gifts while, others leave due to money—founders not caring for their needs. Operating an independent or what is called the one-man church in Ghana seems to be lucrative. Those who claim to be “prophets” are the most sought after. Most Ghanaians believe that their destinies would change when a “prophet” speaks into their lives. The use of anointing oil and holy water are the sources of funding for these churches. Then, there is what is called a consultation fee. People, who are booked to see the prophet, are made to pay huge sums of money. These people also return to give testimonies about what God has used the prophets to do for them. Most of these one-man churches are on satellite television and are reaching out to millions all over the world. Salvation according to these churches is more on how one is delivered from sickness and poverty. Prosperity messages are rampant in these churches. Some of their leaders are competing among themselves with the latest cars that they can buy. The founders of these churches have acquired all sorts of accolades. Some say that they have reached the status of angels and attends meetings with other angels together with Jesus Christ. The era of the prophetic preacher in Ghana seems to be getting out of hands. These are because their practices are at variance with the teachings of the Bible. One of them gives lotto numbers to his members to stake. These members return with testimonies of winning huge sums of money from the lotto they stake. Some fetish priests have often come out to say that some of these prophets came to them for magical powers to use in their churches. These claims cannot, however, be authenticated.
Currently, the debate that is going on in Ghana is whether churches should begin to pay tax since they are into business and are making profits. Comparing the past with the present, one can see a huge difference early church and what it has become now in Ghana. In the past, the churches were more concerned with building schools and hospitals but, that is not the case anymore. In the past, the Church cared for the poor and needy but, that seems not to be the case anymore. Christianity in the past was mainly based on salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. These were the message brought by the protestant missionaries. These have changed. Salvation today is based on healing, deliverance from demonic oppression and what is called financial breakthrough (prosperity gospel). Many people are trooping these churches but morals continue to fall. Their concern is no more on what Christ has done to save mankind from sin and the resultant walk with him—which is holiness and righteousness. The Bible is held like a magic book from which mystical words can be conjured. No proper rules of interpretation are followed. These so-called “prophets” have no desire to attend Bible schools in order to study proper theology. In fact, to many of them, theology is rather a hindrance to the flow of the Holy Spirit (Credit: Rev. Francis Lawer Sackitey, The State of Christianity in Africa/ Ghana, Modern Ghana, 2018).