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Report Reveals Ethnic Divisions In Rwandan Churches


Report Reveals Ethnic Divisions In Rwandan Churches

The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) has noted that the survey it conducted found ethnic-based divisions among members of the Pentecostal Church in Rwanda (ADEPR) and the Free Methodist Church of Rwanda (EMLR).

It was announced Monday when the commission submitted to the General Assembly of the Senate.

President of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, John Rucyahana, said that a study on unity and reconciliation indicates that there is high levels of divisionism in churches.

Among the religious groups, include ADEPR, Methodist Church and Muslim Brotherhood in Rwanda.

Additionally, in EMLR and ADEPR, there were issues of gender-based divisions, while in Islam there was contestation on how to establish leadership and worship.

Senator Ntawukuriryayo Jean Damascène, asked why the suspects weren’t arrestedam.

He said members are so fearful. Clergymen are intimidating and dictatorial.

“If you look, for instance, at EDPR, Muslims and EMLR issues, those are issues that began to surface in 2010. You may ask yourself when will the Rwandan society prevents them,” he said.

He added: “There is a great thing to say, that if they discriminate against Rwandans based on their origins, even on religion while the constitution prohibits it, why don’t we punish them? […] Because when it comes to religion, we all stop talking about it”

Bishop Rucyahana responded and said the work of the commission was to highlight problems that could disrupt unity and reconciliation, and the institutions responsible for monitoring it should now do their job.

“No Rwandan is above the law; no one should commit a crime and go unpunished. The problem is in the follow up of the problem and crimes committed. What the commission is doing is to highlight the problem,” he added.

Conflicts in Islam have been over leadership because some do not accept that it is led by leaders from AMUR camp. There was also a dissent between the Shia and the Sunni, among others.

In ADEPR, it was about leadership wrangles, financial resources management, and other factors that have led to imprisonment of some of its officials last year.

In the meantime, another criminal activity is being studied to examine the authenticity of accusations of some members working with the enemies of the state.

The report is public.

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