“It is time that we stay awake; it is time that we rise to see what we can do to protect innocent people who come to church. They have come to church to worship and it will be sad that it is inside the church that they are going to meet their death,” said Archbishop John Bonaventure Kwofie, of Accra, Ghana, in the wake of the threat of terrorism that has gripped the country, reported Fides News Agency on May 24, 2019.
“Security has become a big issue today with what happened in Sri Lanka and what is happening in Burkina Faso,” the Archbishop said, referring to the massacres in Catholic churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday and the recent attacks on the Catholic communities and other Christian denominations in neighboring Burkina Faso.
“Since it is coming closer to us, we are now standing alert to face this security threat that is coming up,” said Archbishop Kwofie, who met with the police chief to agree on security measures to protect the faithful participating in the Sunday religious services. The Church of Christ the King, one of the parishes of the Archdiocese of Accra, has already banned backpacks as part of the new security guidelines.
Ghana is strengthening its border controls after the recent attacks by a Salafist group in Burkina Faso.
On February 15, 2019, four burkinabé customs officers were killed at the checkpoint in Nohao, near the border with Ghana. During the attack, Fr. Antonio César Fernández Fernández, a Spanish Salesian missionary was killed.
The security situation in Burkina Faso, Ghana’s neighbor to the north, remains fluid as thousands of Burkinabes throng Ghanaian villages over unrests. The Africa Center for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIS) has also issued a security alert that the Salafi-Jihadist group has been moving in and out of Ghana through the border with Burkina Faso over the past months, to launch attacks on churches and hotels in neighboring countries, including Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast, and Togo.