A school history textbook in the African nation of Ghana has sparked apologies for its publication and demands for its recall.
That’s because the History of Ghana for Basic Schools: Learners Book 4 makes claims that Christian missionaries had a major negative impact on the culture, economy and lifestyle of Ghana.
It asserts that “Christianity has led to an increase in poverty” and that “some religious doctrines brought by missionaries create a sense of fear or timidity.”
One of the most contentious suggestions is that “religion is a major cause of physical conflict around the world” and that “most religious groups discriminate against women in so many ways.”
The learners book also accused religion of creating “an avenue for many tricksters or charlatans to parade as men of God.”
The Ghana National Association of Authors and Publishers has apologised for the textbook.
A committee will assess all other books in schools published by its members.
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has demanded its immediate recall.
Premier Christian News reports the deputy education minister Reverend John Ntim Fordjour described the book as “obnoxious,” saying it had been “smuggled into the market for unsuspecting learners”.
He added: “The content is appalling and misconceived” and that “Ghana is most peaceful for a reason and the important place of religion cannot be undermined.”
The textbook also teaches that “many politicians in Ghana use religion as a vehicle to cause disaffection amongst people in a bid to advance their political interest.”