Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
Ghanaians believe. Posters and billboards advertising conventions, new churches, miracle prayers, religious matters of all sorts are spread all around Ghana.
In this story through pictures I have tried to focus on prayer as such. I visited numerous prayer camps, places where all Christian denominations gather to concentrate on prayer and fasting. In the course of my visit I met people who stay and fast up to forty days and take no food at all, who are in short quite comparable to biblical characters. Most of these believers come from Ghana, some travel from neighbouring countries such as Togo and Cote d’Ivoire. Some attendees gather on a mountain hoping to maximise the efficacy of prayer by praying over various physical objects such as olive oil, visa application, passport and money. Such articles are used as a point of contact with God in the hope that God can bless these items.
On one hand this Christianity accepts the will of God, on the other there is strong emphasis on success, winning, getting what is prayed for. Unlike orthodox Catholicism, fasting is not treated as a way to sacrifice your body to God but rather to gain a favour from Him such as the power of healing or prophecy. One could question many aspects of this approach to Christianity but there is one area for sure, where these people score points in contrary to many lukewarm in faith westerners: these people commit themselves completely to prayer. Most of them are well aware of the importance of taking care of their spirituality and worshipping God. What might be regarded with a cynical smile by a westerner is here in Ghana treated completely seriously.
Krzysztof Maniocha was born in 1979 in Poland. He has spent the last thirteen years in Ireland, during this time he graduated from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, with a BA (Honors) Degree in professional photography.
He has spent several years assisting leading commercial photographers and working as a fixer for foreign photographers. He has also been freelancing fields such as advertising, documentary work and press photography.
Krzysztof has had his documentary stories featured with the photojournalist agency ‘Uspecto Images’ whom he’s been involved with since 2011.