Genocide in Rwanda: Complicity of the Churches

Genocide in Rwanda: Complicity of the Churches


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Genocide in Rwanda: Complicity of the Churches by Carol Rittner, John K. Roth

In 1994, genocide put Rwanda on the map for most of the world. It also exposed one of the most shameful scandals of the Rwandan churches-the complicity of the Christian churches in the genocide. Rwanda is the most Christian country in Africa. More than 90% of its people are baptized Christians, with the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches having the greatest number of adherents. According to Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "The story of Rwanda shows both sides of our humanity. The churches were sometimes quite superb in what they did in the face of intimidation and at great cost to themselves. But there were other times when [they] failed dismally and seemed to be implicated in ways that have left many disillusioned, disgruntled and angry." Genocide In Rwanda provides a variety of perspectives through which to assess the complex questions and issues surrounding the topic, and, even raise some new questions that could provide some new insight into this historical event. They are questions we must ask - otherwise, how can the Church begin to make moral restitution, change structures and behaviors, and once again reveal the human face of God in our fragile world?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557788375
Publisher: Paragon House Publishers
Publication date: 08/23/2004
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.34(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Carol Rittner, R.S.M., is distinguished professor of holocaust and genocide studies at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Part IThe Church and Power23
Raising Voices25
1.Religion and the Rwandan Genocide: Some Preliminary Considerations27
2.Genocide in Rwanda 1994--An Anglican Perspective37
3.The Church and the Genocide in Rwanda49
4.The Church and Power: Responses to Genocide and Massive Human Rights Abuses in Comparative Perspective65
Part IIThe Church and People79
A Small Country No More81
5.The Failure to Confront Evil--A Collective Responsibility: A Personal Reflection83
6.Rwanda--100 Days--1994: One Perspective93
7.Memory Never Forgets Miracles111
8.The Church and the Rwandan Tragedy of 1994: A Personal View117
Part IIIThe Church and Responsibility127
The Abyss of Horror129
9.Genocide and the Church in Rwanda: An Interview with Tom O'Hara, C.S.C.131
10.The Christian Churches and the Construction of a Genocidal Mentality in Rwanda141
11.The Rwandan Genocide and the British Religious Press--Roman Catholic, Anglican and Baptist169
12.Churches as Memorial Sites: A Photo Essay181
Part IVThe Church and Complicity?207
Nothing Guaranteed209
13.From Kibeho to Medjugorje: The Catholic Church and Ethno-Nationalist Movements and Regimes211
14.The Church's Blind Eye to Genocide in Rwanda229
15.Two Convicted Rwandan Nuns251
16.Why the Churches Were Complicit: Confessions of a Broken-Hearted Christian259
Epilogue: What Should Be Remembered?269
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide279
Statute of the International Tribunal for Rwanda281

What People are Saying About This

Anne Elizabeth McLaughlin

Genocide in Rwanda: Complicity of the Churches is the result of a provocative exchange of scholars, journalists, priests, nuns, and human rights activists exploring the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Each essay invites the reader to consider anew the complicity of too many of the Christian churches in that genocide. It makes for sober reading.
RSM, a Roman Catholic nun, is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at College Misericordia in Dallas, Pennsylvania

Douglas K. Huneke

Once again, Christians must examine their role, the role of their churches and the complicity of their ordained leaders in genocide. The authors of these essays do not look away. They offer the compelling and challenging critique demanded by the memory of the victims, the suffering of the survivors, and the work of the generations that must rebuild post-genocide Rwanda. Genocide in Rwanda: Complicity of the Churches cuts to the heart of the matter, to the abuses used to justify crimes against humanity, and is must reading for every prelate and bishop, pastor and seminarian, theologian and human rights advocate concerned with ending once and for all any Christian involvement in genocide, save to actively and consistently resist it.
author of The Moses of Rovno, and The Stones Will Cry Out: Pastoral Reflections on the Shoah, is the pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Tiburon, California.

Paul Lyons

This thorough and shocking anthology of essays and documents, skillfully assembled by three distinguished champions of human rights, will be an invaluable supplement to the seminal work of Philip Gourevitch and Samantha Power on the Rwandan genocide of 1994. It raises disturbing but essential questions about the response of Christian churches in a predominantly Christian nation. I recommend it to all those seeking an understanding of this still neglected genocide in East Africa.
author of The People of This Generation: The Rise and Fall of the New Left in Philadelphia, teaches in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

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