By Masahudu Kunateh
Accra — OUT with the old and in with the new.
This trend is playing itself out in Ghanaian churches where worshippers have resorted to the use of digitalized bibles in place of manual ones that have been in use for centuries.
A survey conducted by CAJ News Ghana established that majority of Christians in Ghana preferred taking their bible-laden tablets to churches than the traditional manual bibles.
This phenomenon is catching on with the Ghanaian youth and some high profile pastors.
A cross-section of youth and pastors shared their views as to why they preferred using their tablets to read the bibles- it easy, fast, and convenient to read the tablets bible than the manual, not to mention it is fashionable.
A worshiper at the Central Gospel Church, Isaac Mensah, said holding the tablet alone to church was a "fun" than holding the bulky manual bible.
"The era of using the manual bible is dead and gone so I will encourage everybody especially the youth to use their tablets during worship. It is portable than the bible," he said.
Emmanuel George is so religiously attached to his tablet such that if it has technical problems, he does not attend church.
"I really find it cumbersome to hold the manual bible to the church," he said.
Leading telecom industry expert, Boadiwaa Delanyo Donkor, noted that the tablet was gradually becoming a preferred choice.
"It is convenient and trendy. It is easy to find a tab. Compared to opening the hard copy bible unless you have a personal culture of reading the bible.
"I guess so many people use it because it is quite expensive. But with an aspiring society like ours it will definitely catch up," she said.
She therefore appealed to telecom companies to partner with tablet device manufacturers to introduce affordable tablets on the market.
The Research and Communications Manager at the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Derek Barnabas Laryea, said the pricing of the tablets led to a slow adoption of the technology in the country.
"In Ghana, the rich and the middle class are threading on those lines. In America, most preachers are mounting pulpits with tablets.
"But as an industry person I think it will take a long time for Ghana to be sighted on this phenomenon because of the cost of owning the devices," he said.
"Once people buy it they will use it. Make the device more affordable to the masses. With the current regime, it creates grey markets for smuggling, corruption and bribery at numerous entry points and government's agencies get nothing," said Laryea.
However, some fundamentalist Christians are against the trend that has seen tablets emerge as a threat to the manual bible.
"Putting the bible on the tablets is unGodly and must be condemned outright," said Pastor William Addo.
"The manual bible is a spiritual document and must be respected as such.
Putting it on tablets will result in it losing its spiritual value."