AJI brought together renowned speakers to discuss good governance, democracy and constitution, the common good, serving the poor, and caring for our common home.
CHRISTIANS AS CITIZENS, NOT SPECTATORS
Addressing Ghana’s Challenges from Christian Perspectives.
Ghana is a Christian majority nation, evidenced by the recent 2021 population census, which indexed Ghana’s Christian population at 71.3%. Christians, therefore, have a major stake in the country’s life; its development and flourishing as a nation. Christians constitute a palpable force for the good, or bad, given their numbers. Ghana’s current challenges – myriad and multifaceted – must therefore be core concerns for Christians; by their numbers, it may even be argued that Christians are deeply implicated in these, particularly those caused by human action or inaction.
Together and well-guided, Christians are potentially key agents of change in Ghana. Addressing the nation at his inauguration as Ghana’s president on January 7, 2017, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, called on Ghanaians to be “citizens, not spectators”. This laudable call to exemplary civic virtue is taken up – with particular reference to Christians – through this initiative of the Arrupe Jesuit Institute. Accordingly, drawing from Roman Catholic ecclesial tradition that underscores the priority of the informed conscience for engaging in civic action (Gaudium et spes, 76; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1783), this initiative targets one ultimate goal: CONSCIENTIZATION.
The aim simply is to provide a platform for informed perspectives to be heard on national hot-button issues related to governance, economics, education, healthcare, the environment etc., all the time guided by the principles of Christian social doctrine, such as human dignity, solidarity, the option for the poor and the common good. Following the church’s new synodal method, characterized by active listening, intentional speaking, and respect for each participant’s input, this platform, styled as a durbar, open forum or town hall meeting, targets the formation of consciences to engender actions – personal and collective, simple yet far-reaching – that exemplify civic and Christian virtue. The achievement of this objective through this platform will increasingly foster the realization of Christians who are citizens, not spectators.
Source: Rev. Fr. Evans Adomako Appiah, SJ, AJI // Newswatchgh.com