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General News
Uproar Over Excessive noise from Church 4/3/2007
Accra, March 30, GNA - Residents of South La Estates in Accra on Friday told the La Magistrate''s Court that they were still being disturbed by loud noise from the Power Miracle Chapel International.

"We have reached a state where we cannot live in our own abode any longer," Mr Arnold Franco Sinend, a retired civil servant of the Department of Urban Road told the court.

"The church does not have respect for the elderly since most people living there are the aged," he said.

He said the church had refused to comply with the court''s order to minimise the noise and not to use musical instruments that made loud noise.

"As early as 1730 hours everyday the church starts its service by clapping, shouting and hooting at the devil in very loud voices interlaced with musical instruments disturbing everybody in the area."

Another retired private secretary and administrator, Madam Joyce Koranteng, who had worked for 35 years, also told the court: "Noisemaking brings stress, we cannot sleep. We have served this nation in respect and honesty; we want to rest in our homes."

She said the Pastor did not listen to advice when he was putting up the church building since it was close to the estates.

The presiding judge Mrs Florence Otu warned the Pastor in-charge of the church, Prophet Stephen Mensah and his congregation that, "if I hear any complaint of excessive noisemaking I will quickly organise the La Police and the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) to seize all your musical instruments".

Mrs Otu said: "Everybody worships God in one way or the other but in doing so we must not create any nuisance for others. "In God''s Kingdom there is order and discipline and worshipping must be done in a fine manner. I will monitor and visit the church unannounced to see things for myself."

She told the church to have their activities only twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1800 hours to 2000 hours.

Mrs Otu cautioned that the complainants who were elderly people could be their parents and all the necessary respect must be accorded them.

The Court on March 8 restrained the Power Miracle Chapel International, a charismatic church, from conducting noisy church services.

The Court asked the church to conduct its services during the daytime and not at night, adding; "it should be done without any musical instrument".

The church was again ordered to write officially to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to obtain a permit to hold church activities in the residential area and assess the level of noise making to determine whether it could still operate within the residential area or relocate.

The Pastor in-charge of the church, Prophet Stephen Mensah and members pleaded not guilty and were fined 10 penalty unit, that is 1.2 million cedis, or in default six months'' imprisonment.

Prophet Mensah and the congregation were charged with making excessive noise with the aid of powerful musical gadgets on the church premises at South Labadi Estates, thus causing noise nuisance.


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