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From the Publisher"This book is far more than a profoundly moving and convincing account of one of the late-twentieth century's defining events. It is indispensable for scholars in fields as diverse as conflict and genocide studies, civil society, and religion generally. Longman's analysis of Rwanda's churches as important repositories of power, and thus inherently political organizations, capable both of buttressing authority and of challenging it, constitutes a huge theoretical advance in conceptualizing the role of religion in public life." - Paul Gifford, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
"The massive involvement of Christian communities in the killing of Tutsi is one of the most disturbing and controversial questions in the background of the Rwandan bloodbath. In this path-breaking inquest, Tim Longman brilliantly illuminates this long-neglected aspect of the Rwandan tragedy. His book stands as a major contribution to our understanding of the less than edifying role of the Church in Rwanda and other genocidal settings." - Rene Lemarchand, Emeritus Professor, University of Florida
"This thoughtful study significantly advances our understanding of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. In a bold and nuanced analysis, Longman shows how and why churches linked to the state and imbued with 'a conservative, hierarchical, bigoted version of Christianity' gave moral sanction to violence against Tutsi, making it easier for people to participate in the genocide. Using local case studies, the book elucidates power struggles within churches that mirrored and also shaped conflicts in civil society. This view from below provides valuable insights on the concerns and fears of ordinary people during the turbulent democratization period of early 1990s Rwanda, while Longman's unsettling conclusions constitute a cautionary tale: 'if religious institutions become too closely tied to state power,' he warns, 'they have the capacity to legitimize abhorrent state actions.'" - Catharine Newbury, Five College Professor of Government and African Studies, Smith College
"Longman's book is an important contribution to the emerging micro-level literature on the genocide. It benefits from Longman's long association with the country and his extensive research on the genocide for Human Rights Watch. He uses sources that few scholars have tapped into, namely the communal archives which consists of letters and reports that local authorities wrote to higher ups at the time of events."
Perspectives on Politics, Lee Ann Fujii, George Washington University
"Within a large literature, this book significantly advances the understanding of the Rwandan genocide.... Recommended." - T. P. Johnson, University of Massachusetts Boston, Choice
"This book makes a major contribution to the literature on religion and conflict as well as on the 1994 Rwandan genocide....Longman's long-term engagement with Rwanda, as well as his familiarity with the literature in French and English on the country, has made him one of the leading American experts on the African Great Lakes region and also on religion and conflict....This book should be read by anyone interested in Christianity in Rwanda." - Jennie E. Burnet, University of Louisville, International Journal of African Historical Studies