By Sam Eyoboka
THE growing interestÂ Â Â among researchÂ Â Â scientists in various parts of the world for embryonic stem cell research has been given the thumbs_down by ministers of Godâ€™s Kingdom Society (GKS) who lamented the loss of life due to the destruction of human embryos besides the dire possibility of scientists developing the capacity for the cloning of human beings.
A communiquÃ© issued at the end of their two_day conference in Salem City, Warri, Delta State, the ministers stated that that while they were not unaware of the desperation of victims of various terminal diseases, who urgently need help, they believed that regenerative and reparative medicine could get the same results from other ways, without having to destroy human embryos.
Embryonic stem cells are master cells in the three to five day old embryo that can give rise to the entire body of the organism, including all of the many specialized cell types and organs such as the heart, lung, skin, sperm, eggs and other tissues.
Scientists contend that they could harness them to create replacement tissues to treat a variety of diseases.
Also, the ministers charged pro-life groups and individuals not to physically attack scientists and medical doctors who are involved in embryonic stem cell research and abortion â€œas two wrongs do not make a rightâ€ and because â€œit is Jehovahâ€™s prerogative to take vengeance on those who are disobedientâ€.
The conference which was attended by GKS ministers from Ghana and Kenya also commented on the state of affairs in the two countries.
The ministers observed that the struggle for ownership of land by communities, individuals and groups in the Accra area of Ghana especially, was becoming more vicious by the day.
â€œA situation where the same parcel of land is sold to two or more people by landowners is of course a perfect recipe for violence and enmity and endless litigations,â€ they said with an appeal to those involved in disputes over land not to take the law into their hands but to follow laid down procedures as stipulated by the laws of the land.
â€œEveryone should fear God and avoid the tendency to greed, violence and oppression, knowing it is God Almighty Who owns all landsâ€¦â€ They quoted the portion of the Bible which says: â€œAnd remember, the land is mine, so you may not sell it permanently. You are merely my tenants and sharecroppers!â€
Considering what Kenyans have gone through during the upheaval that followed disputes over the presidential elections two years ago and which led to the current power sharing arrangement between Kenyaâ€™s President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, they appealed to the current leadership to avoid the mistakes of the past by ensuring trans-parency and honesty of purpose in all their actions.
â€œThey should work for the interest of the common people and strive to put corruption to the barest minimum so that a new order of peace and stability will take root in Kenya.Â The current tension and feeling of insecurity due to the bickerings, intrigues and mutual recrimina-tions within the government cannot conduce to peace and development of the countryâ€¦â€ they said.
The ministers also had the same exhortation for Liberians with a charge that they learn from the past so as not to descend again into crisis after the UN Peace Keeping forces have left.
Ministers also decried legislations in the Western countries granting same sex couples, the same rights as heterosexual couples saying this amounted to aÂ blanket endorsement of same_sex unions, â€œeven though it is generally recognized the world over that such unions are an abnormalityâ€.
â€œWhile we enjoin people with homosexual orientation to seek the face of God through repentance, we should not because of politics shy away from condemning the practice which is being popularized by Satan in his drive to drag as many people as possible into destruction.
The GKS Ministers Conference is an annual forum for the ministers of the church to take far reaching decisions on church policy and the state of the world in the light of the Scriptures.