By Julius K. Satsi, GNA
Accra, Sept. 14, GNA - Mr Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs on Friday urged the second batch of Christians embarking on pilgrimage to holy sites of Israel to follow the rules at the various points.
The Minister said abiding by the rules would boost the confidence of both the Ghanaian and Israeli governments to continuously create the opportunity for others to also visit the holy sites to build up their faith.
“Don’t do anything that will jeopardise the programme… Let us go as pilgrims and come as pilgrims,” Mr Dzamesi stated during the pre-departure briefing at the Social Aviation Centre in Accra, where pilgrims wait before proceeding to the Kotoka International Airport for departure.
Mr Dzamesi said government was committed to ensuring that at least all Christians visit the holy sites of Israel to enhance their spiritual lives and also pray for the nation’s progress.
He urged the 44 pilgrims to continuously pray for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the nation as a whole, especially as they walk in the path of the Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.
The Minister said the future of the initiative was very bright as the Ministry looked forward to increasing the number of pilgrims to 1,000 pilgrims next year as against 215 pilgrims this year and 50 last year.
Mr Victor Satuh, the Marketing, Business and Product Development Manager, One People Travel (the agency assisting the Ministry for the pilgrimage) took the pilgrims through the rules and the travel routes.
He urged the pilgrims to adhere to the various security checks to be conducted at the checkpoints, saying that, if the number of pilgrims rose to 1,000, it would be much easier to hire plane.
Some of the pilgrims, in sharing their expectations with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), expressed their gratitude to the government for making it possible for them to visit the places they had been reading about in the Bible.
Madam Esther Konadu, a member of the Ola Cathedral of the Catholic Church in Tamale said, “My expectation is to encounter Christ and have the opportunity to pray for the government, my family and for myself”.
She expressed her eagerness to see where Jesus was born in Bethlehem, where he was baptised in the Jordan and where he was crucified at Golgotha.
Mr Emmanuel Akuamoah, a member of the Church of Pentecost in Accra said he considered the opportunity as a privilege to see where the Messiah he had been serving was born and the empty tomb he was laid in.
He urged all Christians to make good use of this opportunity and visit the holy sites of Israel to enhance their spiritual lives in the Lord.
Mrs Mary Lawson, a member of the Apostolic Church, Ghana at Adenta, said she had read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation since childhood, now she was determined to see the places that were mentioned, adding that, the pilgrimage was a privilege to see those places.