One-man religions armed with loudspeakers proliferate in Ghanas fast-growing capital. But as the city gets noisier, residents are fighting back
” If you flout the laws of God, the serpent will burn you. Satan will expend you ,” wails Apostle Michael Sarfo at a major superhighway intersection in Ghana’s capital, Accra. He proclaims for five hours every weekday morning, with a stack of speakers amplifying his evangelism. Passersby stop to receive devotions and praises, some tossing their coin offerings from moving cars.
In Accra, you are never far from religious sermons. Harmonizing to one estimate, there are approximately 10 churches per sq km, and open-air preaching, whether on modes of public transport, in bus terminals or at superhighway intersections, is commonplace.
The population of Greater Accra was about 4 million in 2010, but the city’s rapid growth means that number is expected to reach nearly 10 million by 2037. And as the population raises and the city gets noisier, occupants are becoming more willing to fight back- developing in a rise in noise complaints.
Sarfo has been preaching at this intersection with his speaker system for the past four years. He says he used to be a lot louder but lowered his stages after people deplored. He imagines those who complain about the noise are not true Christians.