The Ghana Police Service says it has resolved to deal with waywardness that has become part of the annual ritual of end of year watchnight church services and New Year Resolutions by some religious leaders in the country.
According to the police, they will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute any religious leader who will prophesy harm, danger and death of any individual or group without proof of the prophecy.
The police therefore cautioned religious leaders and religious groups to be measured in their utterances, especially how they communicate prophecies.
Additionally, the police said they will come after anyone who publish such information or share same via electronic means, especially where the said communication has the potential to cause fear and alarm to the public or endanger lives.
“As the year 2021 draws to a close, the Ghana Police wish to draw the attention of Ghanaians, especially religious groups, to the fact that whereas we have the right to religion, freedom of worship and free speech, all these rights are subject to respect of the right and freedom of others, according to our laws.
“Over the years, communication of harm, danger and death by some religious leaders have created tension and panic in the Ghanaian society and put the lives of many people in fear and danger.
“We want to caution that under Ghanaian law, it is a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, where that person has no evidence to prove that the statement, rumour or report is true.
“It is also a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life saving service or to endanger the safety of any person.”
The police explain that any person found guilty under these laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years.