By Papisdaff Abdullah
The Government of Ghana has stated that it will organize another trip for Christians to Israel after last year’s “successful” piloting of the programme.
According to the Ghana’s Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, the fares for this year’s pilgrimage to Israel remains the same as that of 2017. The fee for the trip per person was $2,700.
The Government was heavily lambasted when it announced its intention to facilitate the pilgrimage of about 100 Christians to Israel and the Vatican.
A religious expert and lecturer at the University of Ghana Dr. Ben Willie-Golo condemned the decision then as “reckless.”
“Why will you want to push this? I mean don’t we have earnestly [something] doing with our resources,” he quizzed during an interview on Morning Starr.
Despite the scathing condemnation, government remained resolute and went ahead to execute the programme.
In an address to a News Conference to announce the latest move, the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister Kofi Dzamesi last year’s event was successful.
“Last year this [Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs] Ministry facilitated a pilot pilgrimage to the state of Israel, which in our view was largely successful and very beneficial, confirming in the large measure the importance of pilgrimage in the life of a Christian,” he said.
Thus, he added “this [Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs] Ministry intends to facilitate another pilgrimage to the state of Israel but on a much broader scale and within manageable limit.”
He said this year’s fares remain the same as last year’s with similar package.
The move to send over a 100 persons to Israel and the Vatican last year was described by majority of the public as a misplaced priority on the part of government.
The Christian Council of Ghana also stated then that “it did not want tax payers to bear the cost”.
And in the heat of the conundrum surrounding the government’s programme, parliament hauled the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister to the lawmaking chamber to disclose the modalities surrounding the trip and to ascertain if the State is footing the bills.
However, the Ministry has insisted it “is not in to make profit” but only facilitating travelling arrangement for Ghanaians Christians to embark on the trip.