bishop

Perez Chapel International (PCI) has thrown its ?full? weight, as a church, behind its founding Bishop?s recent condemnation of the activities of Islamist fundamentalists in the world.

?We are in full support of our Bishop,? the church?s Resident Pastor, Raymond Acquah told StarrFmonline.com in an interview Tuesday.

Pastor Acquah said just like many world leaders are doing, it is not out of place for Perez?s founding Bishop, Charles Agyin-Asare to speak out against the activities of Islamist fundamentalists.

His comments come on the back of an assertion by a Muslim cleric, Sheikh Muhammed Zakaria Addo that Bishop Agyin-Asare?s recent claim that there could be as many as 200 million Islamist fundamentalists in the world, is provocative.

In his Easter Sunday sermon, Bishop Agyin-Asare said if between 10 and 17 percent of Muslims were thought to be fundamentalists, then it meant about 200 million of the world?s 1.2 billion Muslim population is made up of Islamist fundamentalists who are targeting Christians to harm them merely for being Christians.

Sheikh Addo, however, took strong exception to the Bishop?s comment. ?This is not the first time Bishop Agyin-Asare is provoking Muslims,? Sheikh Addo said in an interview with Starr News? Abena Owusu Nyamekye adding that: ??The way Agyin-Asare talked?, I think it?s something that we don?t expect because not all the Muslims [who] will hear this preaching [will] keep quiet.?

In Sheikh Addo?s view, there are also Christian fundamentalists in the world who are terrorising Muslims, and so religious extremism and fundamentalism should be condemned across the board. He cited the Central African Republic (CAR) as an example where Christian militias have waged a cleansing war against Muslims to buttress his point.

He nonetheless condemned all activities of Islamist fundamentalists as ?un-Islamic,? adding that the Muslim community, just like Bishop Agyin-Asare and other world leaders, equally condemns the recent massacre of 148 Christians at Garrissa University College in Kenya by al-Shabab militants.

Joining the fundamentalism condemnation wagon is another christian cleric, Rev Lawrence Dr. D. Asante of the Winning Family International Church in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi has also issued a statement concurring with the Perez Chapel founder.

?Bishop Agyin-Asare has done what other peace loving leaders across the world like Al Azhar, the foreign minister of Egypt; Pope Francis, Nana Akufo-Addo,? has done, he said in the statement issued Monday. Also Ghanaian Muslim cleric Sheikh Irbad Ibrahim has condemned the attack and also told Morning Starr?s Kafui Dey on Starr 103.5FM that it was high time the youth in Muslim-populated areas in Ghana such as Nima in Accra, and Tamale in the Northern Region are sensitised against Islamic fundamentalism so that terrorists do not take advantage of them through radicalisation.

Also in January this year, Egypt?s new President directly confronted Islamic leaders in his country and challenged them to stand against extremism in their religion.

?We are in need of a religious revolution,? President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi told imams on New Year?s Day at al-Azhar University in Cairo.

?You, imams, are responsible before Allah,? el-Sisi said. ?The entire world ? is waiting for your next move ? because [the Islamic world] is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost ? and it is being lost by our own hands,? El-Sisi bemoaned.

?All these leaders amongst others,? Rev Asante observed, ?have all condemned the recent attacks in Kenya. We like to state without reservation that terrorism is evil; Islamic fundamentalism or for that matter any religious radicalism should not be tolerated in any shape or form.?

He said he was, thus befuddled by Sheikh Addo?s comment that Bishop Agyin-Asare was provoking Muslims.

?We are totally shocked that a certain Islamic Cleric by name Sheikh Muhammed Zakaria Addo who spoke on Starr FM could actually say that Bishop Agyin-Asare was provoking Muslims without quoting a single statement of the Bishop which he finds provocative.

?We are fully in support of the Bishop?s condemnation of the violent attacks in Kenya. We also salute all leaders locally and internationally who have taken a stand against terrorism and religious fundamentalism. If Sheikh Addo is in support of what we condemn, he should say so now. It?s time to speak up,? Rev Asante said.

In Bishop Agyin-Asare Sunday message, he stressed the need for greater christian evangelism to win over Islamic extremists, and said Christianity is the panacea to fundamentalism.

?The reason why Islamist fundamentalists are behaving the way they are doing is because we haven?t given them the gospel,? he said, adding: ?If we had taken the Bible to them, they would not take the gun or the sword.?

Source: StarrFMonline.com

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