News Release

The National Chief Imam of Ghana Meets Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

104-Year-Old Muslim Cleric Visits Church Area Headquarters in Accra, Ghana

On 18 September 2023, the Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints welcomed His Eminence Sheikh Dr. Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, the Chief Imam and Grand Mufti of the Republic of Ghana, to the area offices in Accra, Ghana. The Chief Imam is the religious leader for the seven million Muslims living in Ghana. He was appointed as the leading Muslim cleric in 1993. He celebrated his 104th birthday in April.

Welcoming the Chief Imam was Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, General Authority Seventy and President of the Africa West Area of the Church. He was accompanied by the first and second counselors in the Area Presidency — Elder Jörg Klebingat and Elder Alfred Kyungu, both General Authority Seventies. 

The Chief Imam was accompanied by local Muslim leaders — including Dr. Mohammed Marzuq Abubakar Azindoo, the Imam’s personal assistant, and Abubakar Sidik Yussif Zenuwah, his administrative secretary.

His Eminence Sheikh Dr. Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, Chief Imam and Grand Mufti of the Republic of Ghana, at the Africa West Area offices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 18 September 2023.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

In June of 2023, Elder Gerrit W. Gong, on a visit to West Africa, met with the Chief Imam at his home in Accra. During that meeting, Elder Gong and the Chief Imam pledged to work together to encourage peace and to strengthen religious freedom in Ghana. Since that time, Church leaders have worked with the Chief Imam’s Advisory Board to develop joint initiatives that focus on achieving these objectives.

The Chief Imam is widely revered for his dedication to peace and the avoidance of interfaith conflict. He has focused on youth, developing schools, and increasing educational opportunities for his followers. He has been praised throughout the world for his immense contribution in increasing development and maintaining peace in Ghana.

“We feel so much appreciation for your visit. We love you and feel close to you,” Elder Nielsen said to the Chief Imam. “We are honored to be in your presence. Our hearts are joined together. We are brothers and sisters in righteousness."

Elder Nielsen said that he prayed for the health and long life of the Imam, “specifically as you lead your people in peace, joy, happiness, and unity.”

The Chief Imam chose to visit the Area offices, even though he had not been feeling well. 

“We understand the significance of your visit here today and are humbled at your sacrifice,” said Elder Nielsen. “We want nothing more that to link arms with our Muslim brothers to trumpet peace throughout the great land of Ghana.”

The Church leaders presented the Chief Imam with a framed picture of the pamphlet Muslims and Latter-day Saints.  

“This is an indication of how we feel for you," Elder Nielsen said. "This document shows how closely our doctrines are aligned."

"We have so many similarities in belief — first of all our joint belief in a loving God, who is our living Father, and we are His children.”

“I pray for a divine blessing on all that you do,” the Imam said. “May the Almighty bless you in your efforts to bring peace to the world. May Allah prevent calamities in your lives and protect you from danger.” 

The Imam also expressed his desire for all nations to seek peaceful solutions for their differences and commended the Church for their efforts to bring peace to West Africa.

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