What Bishops in Ghana are Proposing to Address Dwindling Catholic Population

Members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC). Credit: Catholic Trends/Facebook

Members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) are proposing the development of well-structured catechetical and formation programs, among other sets of proposals to address the decreasing number of Catholic faithful in the West African nation. 

The 2021 Population and Housing Census (2021 PHC) in Ghana shows the number of Catholics declined from 15.1% to 10.0% since the 2010 census.

In a statement they issued on Monday, November 13 at the end of their Plenary Assembly, members of the GCBC say that the decreasing Catholic population calls for a “very sober reflection” from Bishops, Clergy, Religious, and the lay faithful. 

 “The Church in Ghana may embark on an aggressive catechesis to deepen the knowledge of the Lay faithful about the faith. The Church must strengthen and deepen the catechesis offered for the reception of the Sacraments, particularly the Sacraments of Christian Initiation so that the catechesis is not only theoretical but one that leads to the true conversion of the heart and mind of the catechumens,” GCBC members say.

The GCBC assembly was themed ‘Fostering the Growth of the Catholic Church in Ghana Through Collaborative Ministry’.


The Bishops said that the Church needs to “consciously teach the faithful about false security and dangers of the so-called Prosperity Gospel.”

The Bishops identified “youth exodus” from the Church as one of the greatest threats to Catholicism in Ghana.

 To address the challenge, the Church leaders said there needs to be “well-structured” catechetical and formational programs that take into consideration the pastoral and other socio-economic needs of our time for the youth and children.

“The youth can then be formally invited to collaborate in direct evangelization,” the Bishops said, adding that Catholic chaplaincies in basic schools and institutions of higher learning ought to be “better resourced with trained, competent, and hardworking chaplains.”  

The Catholic Bishops have also called for the development and implementation of short, medium, and long-term Diocesan Pastoral Plans for evangelization with set targets in Ghanaian Dioceses and Archdioceses.

More in Africa

The aim of these plans should be strengthening and promoting primary evangelization in the various jurisdictions, the Bishops say, adding, “In the absence of carefully plotted out diocesan plans that feed ultimately into a national vision for the Church, any efforts to halt the decline of the Church population to grow the Church would be seriously hampered.”

GCBC members have also proposed the use of traditional and social media for evangelization.

“The Conference should as a matter of urgency, invest heavily in the traditional and social media to go out into the public space as a more effective way of evangelization in our modern world. Certainly, the Church in Ghana has to re-orient herself to the urgency of this task so the voice of the church is heard and her message is proclaimed through all the earth,” the Bishops say.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.