On Monday of 13th March, 2023, we hosted a research seminar on churches and the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. It was facilitated by Prof. Dr. Philippe Denis, a recently retired professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
The seminar was based on his book entitled "THE GENOCIDE AGAINST THE TUTSI, AND THE RWANDAN CHURCHES: Between Grief and Denial.”
Prof. Dr. Denis discussed the findings of this research with the students in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (FTRS). He highlighted how some leaders of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches in Rwanda were influenced by the Genocide ideology.
Prof. Dr. Philippe Denis
On one hand, Prof. Denis explained to the participants that not only members of churches in Rwanda had actively involved in the perpetration of the genocide, but also the church had suffered from it. On other hand, he mentioned the role of the church in the process of healing and reconciliation in Rwanda.
Participants if the seminar
He also discussed how Churches dealt with painful memories after the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. He appreciated the step taken by the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda, which is the first among Protestant Churches in Rwanda that clearly accepted the guilt and repented. He concluded by reminding the audience that the message of the church is about "being children of God" and that "it is very Christian to repent".
Editor: Serge MUVUNYI