One-man churches armed with loudspeakers proliferate in Ghanas fast-growing capital. But as the city gets noisier, residents are fighting back
“If you disobey the laws of God, the serpent will bite you. Satan will consume you,” shouts Apostle Michael Sarfo at a major road intersection in Ghana’s capital, Accra. He preaches for five hours every weekday morning, with a stack of speakers amplifying his evangelism. Passersby stop to receive prayers and blessings, some tossing their money offerings from moving cars.
In Accra, you are never far from religious sermons. According to one estimate, there are approximately 10 churches per sq km, and open-air preaching, whether on public transport, in bus terminals or at road 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 increases and the city gets noisier, residents are becoming more willing to fight back – resulting 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 levels after people complained. He believes those who complain about the noise are not true Christians.