Tamale is a city of mosques. Their number is overwhelming. They far outnumber the churches of the Christian denominations put together. The faith of Tamale people is deeply rooted in God. They don’t seem to see any necessity to have modern buildings as mosques. They are simple people and they can pray in places which might seem a last option to others. When my Friday ministry involved moving around town to distribute food to the destitute, I saw packed mosques on every corner during afternoon worship. Those who could not get a space inside found a space outside the shops or under the trees and performed their prayers there. What great faith! (Kutwa)
CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS UNDERSTANDING
During my two years in Ghana, I have come to realize that people are friendly regardless of religion. There is a difference in terms of cultural practices compared to Zambia, but it has helped me to value different cultures as well. I have learnt something of culture of the people in Tamale, especially the Dagombas who are the majority.
Tamale has Christians and Muslims, though the latter are the great majority, and I am very impressed to see the relationship between these two religions. I have seen both religions showing sincere respect and love for each other. It was a valuable opportunity for me to interact with Muslims because in Zambia there are few Muslims.
These experiences in Ghana have been tremendous and have helped me to understand what Internationality means in our Congregation of Christian Brothers. ( Belamino)Many times I have heard of countries and situations where there are hostilities and tensions in people’s lives due to their religious beliefs, with Christians against Muslims, Muslims against Christians, accusing each and praising their religion as the best. That is not the case in Tamale where the great majority of the population (over 90%) are Muslims and a small minority are Christian.
During my stay in Tamale, I have been impressed by the way the Muslims and Christians live in harmony. I have made many friends and the most are Muslims. It is in Tamale that I entered a mosque for the first time and this showed the willingness to accommodate others’ religions. The inhabitants of Tamale are not divided by religion. For example, parents in a family can be Muslims while their children are Christians, or vice-versa. I have witnessed Muslims and Christians children attending the same school. Muslims and Christians attend each other’s religious and traditional celebrations and this has created freedom of interaction and intermarriage.
In all there is freedom of expression about where one is to worship and this has developed respect and peace in the people’s lives. If we could let go of our religious differences and know we all belong to and worship one God, we would be living peacefully, as I have experienced the people of Tamale doing. (Romano)
I have been inspired by the life lived between Christians and Muslims. The love, unity and sharing between the two religions, as one family and one Ghana, is amazing. I think the Inter-Religion Committee in the country is really helping to bring people together in understanding God. This committee consists of Muslim and Christian leaders. This has helped me to see that Ghanaians seem to understand that God is one, and is beyond and bigger than religion.
I have had many good relationships with Muslim families and friends in this mainly Islamic part of the north. This has made my life in Tamale exciting and enjoyable. The Christians living here are living happily, without complicated issues that would cause loss of life. Their leaders from both religions meet from time to time, to nourish their relationships and love as people of one family, Ghana. (Nature)