It’s every upstanding person’s worst nightmare.
A gang of thieves target you and your family for harassment because of your faith. Police can’t be there 24/7 so you do what you can to keep your family safe, which includes patrolling your property with a loaded firearm.
This was the predicament a retired Pastor in Ghana found himself in on April 28, 2021.
While Pastor Ayi Mantey did a foot patrol of the property with his loaded gun, he tripped and fell to the ground. As he fell, he accidentally pulled the trigger, sending a bullet into his armpit, causing a fatal injury.
“After the rains, he took his gun and was patrolling around,” said Samuel Martey, the retired pastor’s son.
“But while walking, he knocked an object on the ground and was falling but inadvertently pressed on the trigger and the gun went off hitting his armpit. I rushed him to the hospital.”
Pastor Ayi Mantey, 78, was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Divisional Police Commander Akwasi Boadu confirmed the son’s story.
“Our preliminary investigation indicates that at about 4:30 pm on Wednesday, while on his routine patrol around his house with his gun to scare away thieves who have been disturbing him, he suddenly fell and unfortunately pressed on the trigger of the gun which went off. So it is not suicide as is being speculated in town.”
The harassment Pastor Mantey and his family suffered is one of the challenges of preaching the Word of God in Ghana where, unfortunately, violence against Christians has risen over the past decade.
In February, for example, armed assailants attacked an all-night church prayer service in Ghana, injuring three church attendees including a 2-year-old child.
Persecution.org notes that Ghana, historically, is a safe country for Christians, but that’s changing, especially closer to the border with Burkina Faso, where attacks against Christians are commonplace.
Though it is unclear if this attack was religiously motivated or just a random act of crime, attacks on churches is a bad sign for the freedom of religion in a region where Islamic radicalism and attacks on Christians is growing rapidly. Please join us in praying for the continued strength and perseverance of the church in Ghana, as well as for the protection of persecuted Christians throughout the world.
In 2012, Thomas Papanko refused to renounce his Christian faith and fled the country in a self-imposed exile. Papanko, a native traditional chief, returned home to Ghana hoping his life would be spared.
Thomas Papanko was murdered while visiting his parent’s village and the killers used images of his murder on social media to terrorize other Christians. The gruesome images of his murder went viral on Ghanaian social media.
The Ghanaian constitution (like Canada’s constitution did prior to COVID) guarantees freedom of religion. The practice of forcing young educated christian men to become traditional ritualistic chiefs against their chosen faith and will is a clear violation of their fundamental human rights as well as a total and utter attack on the constitution of Ghana.
Sadly, dozens of young Christian men are killed each year in Ghana for refusing to renounce their faith.