Irreligion in Ghana

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Irreligion in Ghana is difficult to measure in the country, as regular demographic polling is not widespread and available statistics are often many years old. Many Ghanaian nationals claim the Christian faith.[1][2] Many atheists in Ghana are not willing to openly express their beliefs due to the fear of persecution.[3] Most secondary educational institutions also have some form of religious affiliation. This is evident in the names of schools like Presbyterian Boys School, Holy Child School and many others.[2] Atheists form a very small minority in Ghana.[4]

In the Ghana census taken in 2010, Christians make up 71.2% of the population, Islam 17.6%, Irreligion 5.3%, Traditional religion 5.2%.[5] Other faiths include Hinduism, Buddhism and Nichiren Buddhism, Taoism, Sōka Gakkai, Shintoism and Judaism.[6]

Contrary to the generally accepted view that all Ghanaians profess one religion or the other, there is a small group of outspoken atheists, freethinkers and skeptics who form the Humanists Association of Ghana. The group organized a Humanists conference in November, 2012 which brought together Humanists from around the world to discuss issues relevant to the advancement of Humanism in Ghana.[7]

Another episode of an International Humanist conference was hosted by the same organization in December, 2014. It featured discussions on additional topics relevant to Humanism such as feminism, witchcraft accusations in West Africa and Humanist ceremonies. The organization currently has about fifty members and attracts limited media coverage. Work is still in progress to officially register the association and make it more broadly known in civic society.

Humanism is not a well known philosophy in Ghana and many of the ideals of this philosophical stance are not widely understood. This, coupled with a high levels of religious belief in Ghana makes it difficult for many unbelievers to share their opinions freely without fear of scorn or stigma. There have been a few debates conducted by humanists in the country regarding what should be considered core humanist principles and what should be shifted to the broad spectrum of secularity.[7]

Openly professing atheism or antireligious beliefs can lead to public outrage, such as when the popular hiplife artist Mzbel stated that Jesus was a fake.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Humanism In Ghana". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  2. ^ a b ZUCKERMAN, P. (2009). Atheism and Secularity. ABC-CLIO. p. 75. ISBN 9780313351822. 
  3. ^ "Humanists call for African age of "Enlightenment"". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  4. ^ "Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism" (PDF). Gallup. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  5. ^ "Ghana - 2010 Population and Housing Census" (PDF). Ghana Statistics Service. Government of Ghana. 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "2010 Population & Housing Census" (PDF). Statsghana.gov.gh. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  7. ^ a b "In world's most religious country, humanists rally for secular space". CS Monitor. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  8. ^ Daily Guide. "Mzbel Gets Support -For Saying Jesus Christ Is Fake". www.modernghana.com. Retrieved 2015-02-19.