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Religion And Tourism In Ghana Essay

2511 words - 11 pages

1.0 Introduction
Walls separating religion and state have crumbled in favour of the state. Every day, the states intervene in religious business, and judges by strict interpretation of the law overturn holy sacraments, indigenous religious stipulations etc.; the various religions lacking legal standing are not consulted and have no recourse. Rather than fighting this outrage, some are even campaigning to preserve this infringement on religious freedom by writing it into the constitution.
The politician is always on a look out to exploit and to take advantage of situations and social groupings to advance their cause and these have both negative and positive consequences for society. ...view middle of the document...

(Wolfe 1998)
2.0 Definitions
According to Wikipedia, “religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence”. It states further that many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. From these beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people derive morality, ethics, religious or preferred lifestyle. 
Tourism on the other hand is defined by Wikipedia as travel for recreational, leisure, or business purposes; this definition is further broadened to encompass people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes" by the World Tourism Organization (WTO).
Religious tourism, also commonly referred to as faith tourism, is a type of tourism, where people travel individually or in groups for pilgrimage, missionary, or leisure - fellowship - purposes. The world's largest form of mass religious tourism takes place at the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The most famous holy cities are Jerusalem, Mecca and Varanasi and the most famous holy sites are the Church of the Nativity, The Western Wall, Brahma Temple at Pushkar and the Kaaba; religious tourism has existed since antiquity.
3.0 Politics, the Law and Religion
When a cleric pronounces a couple married, he creates a legal and religious union. When a judge grants a divorce, he dissolves the original union. If marriage started out as an institution that combines the religious and the legal, it is logically impossible to dissolve the legal union without also dissolving the religious union. Some churches overlook this, however, some like the Catholic Church, engage in some creative manoeuvres so as not to recognize the divorce; this is problematic, for if the marriage was an expression of legal and religious union, at which point during the marriage does the legal and religious become untangled? This is clearly problematic; the law is in the bosom of the court and not the church and it is the politician who makes laws in the legislature; as well, it is the politicians that govern, i.e., see to the implementation of the law. There are many similar situations like this across the religious spectrum that can be exploited by politicians for either mischief or for political advantage or expediency, which may interfere in religion, thus affecting religious tourism.
4.0 Religious Tourism in Ghana
Among all the religions present in Ghana, the three major religions i.e., African Indigenous Religion (AIR), Islam, and Christianity engage more in religious tourism.
Adherents of AIR, the public and foreign tourist attend festivals, funerals, initiations etc. An example is the Dipo rituals surrounding the initiation of young girls into the adulthood is an important part of the Krobo. Many have...

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