According to Professor Ransford Gyampo, “All over the world, religiosity has never brought development. God wants us to think. I believe God Himself would want us to sink in more money to improve the quality of our SHS than to build a Cathedral in which He won’t dwell. Kagame isn’t a witch”
First and foremost, when did a ‘violent kisser’ become the oracle of God? And how can a democratically sane person compare a Rwanda Dictator Kagame who has been in power for 22 years since 2000 to the 6 years of democratic rule of President Akufo-Addo?
I would like to respectfully urge Professor Ransford Gyampo not to make a pedestrian comment on the construction of the National Cathedral out of ignorance and spiritual illiteracy. The construction of the National Cathedral goes beyond religiosity.
The bookish knowledge-based Professor Ransford Gyampo failed to do current research trends on the role of religiosity in development and Society worldwide before writing his trash on Facebook against the National Cathedral.
All over the World, religiosity has contributed significantly to development and nation-building in the areas of Tourism, Economy, Infrastructure, Education, Charity, Healthcare Delivery, Trade and Humanitarian Aid, and these contributions by religiosity are quantifiable and rightly justifiable.
In Ghana, there are several schools, universities and hospitals that have been established by the Christian and Muslim communities. Common sense should inform Professor Gyampo that, the churches, schools, hospitals and mosques constructed by Christians and Muslims contributed to the Infrastructure development and economic activities of Ghana.
Religiosity across the nations of the world promotes social virtues such as moral discipline, service to humanity, honesty, modesty, patience with humanity, love, kindness, non-violence, well-behaved Society etc.
Religiosity has contributed to the development and economies of most Countries across the World which have been able to commercialize Religiosity. However, for the purpose of this article I will only limit myself to the role of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism in the development of countries such as Israel, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, India, China, Japan, Greece, Italy and the Vatican City.
1. *Hajj & Umrah Pilgrimages*
Hajj and Umrah are some of the activities of religiosity, and the role of Hajj & Umrah in the development and economy of Saudi Arabia is overwhelmingly significant. The monetary value of the activities related to Hajj and Umrah exceeds $80billion US Dollars and Hajj revenues are poised to exceed $150billion US Dollars by 2022.
It is estimated that Hajj and Umrah taken together contribute more than 20% of the non-oil GDP of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and it is further estimated that this income comprises about 7% of the total GDP of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Hajj and Umrah are promoting tourism in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency(SAMA) reports says that employees in the tourism sector would rapidly be increased from the 670,000 jobs in 2011 to almost a 1.2 million direct jobs and 591,000 indirect jobs by 2020.
The infrastructure, transportation and logistics demands linked to the Hajj and Umrah are enormous. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has invested billions of US Dollars to improve the infrastructure, Roads and maintaining the Kaaba etc.
The estimated population of Muslims worldwide is approximately a 1.9billion + adherents(2020). Does Professor Gyampo know the economic value of such a population?
2. *Pilgrimage to Israel and Vatican City*
Israel has successfully commercialized the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Israel is making billions of US Dollars from tourism after they successfully turned Christian’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem into tourism.
Jerusalem is an important place of pilgrimage for Christians worldwide, just as it is for Jews and Muslims. Tourism in Israel is booming with the numbers of pilgrims nearly doubling in the past decades, for instance in 2018, about 4 million people visited Jerusalem.
The Catholic Church through Vatican City State(simply known as the Vatican) is generating billions of dollars annually from tourists who visited the Vatican City. The entire economy and development of the Vatican City is derived from the activities of religiosity.
The Christian population worldwide is approximately 2.6 billion + adherents(2020). Does Professor Gyampo know the economic value of such a population?
It is important to point out that countries such as Greece, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq and Indonesia became globally popular largely due to their rich history as far as religiosity is concerned.
3. *The Role of Hinduism and Buddhism in the development of India, China, Japan etc.*
It is estimated that the total population of Hindus worldwide is around a 1.2 billion (2020) and that of Buddhism is around 506 million(2020).
Does Professor Gyamfo know the economic value of such a population?
The Temples of Hinduism and Buddhism have been serving as tourist destinations and attractive sites for the practitioners of these faith-based religions. These Temples have been generating billions of US Dollars for Countries such as India, China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan etc. thereby boosting tourism in these aforementioned Countries.
4. *Music and Entertainment Industry*
The significance of religiosity in the Music and Entertainment industry is very enormous. Christian Music Groups and Record Labels such as Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, Hillsong Worship/Hillsong United, Elevation Worship, Reunion Records and several others are making millions of US Dollars, creating jobs and supporting the development and economies of the United States of America, Australia etc.
The National Cathedral and National Mosque of Ghana if properly commercialized will definitely boost tourism in the Country.
Yes, God will not dwell in the Cathedral but His people will gather there to worship Him. God does not expect His people to worship Him in an unfavorable environment.
Can Kagame tell us that the Churches in Rwanda have not contributed anything meaningful to the development of Rwanda in the area of Schools, hospitals and charity?
It is only a person educated with the Whitemen books without homegrown wisdom who will be downplaying the significance of the construction of the National Cathedral.