The Catholic bishops in Rwanda have issued an apology for Christians’ role in the 1994 genocide, National Catholic Reporter said. The apology was read November 20 in the parishes across Rwanda.

“We apologize for all the wrongs the church committed. We apologize on behalf of all Christians for all forms of wrongs we committed. We regret that church members violated (their) oath of allegiance to God’s commandments,” said the statement signed by the country’s nine bishops.

According to Crux, the statement acknowledged that some members of the Church planned, aided and executed the genocide. More than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists.

Survivors disclosed that many of the victims died at the hands of priests, clergymen and nuns. The Rwandan government said many died in the churches where clergymen gave false promises of security and then trapped and betrayed the victims.

“Forgive us for the crime of hate in the country to the extent of also hating our colleagues because of their ethnicity. We didn’t show that we are one family but instead killed each other,” the bishops said in the statement.

Tom Ndahiro, a Rwandan genocide researcher, said. “I am also happy to learn that in their statement, bishops apologize for not having been able to avert the genocide.” He hoped the church’s apology will encourage unity among Rwandans.

Sources:
Cruxnowcom. (2016). Crux. https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2016/11/20/rwandan-bishops-apologize-churchs-role-genocide/

Catholicnewsagencycom. (2016). Catholic News Agency. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/forgive-us-rwandan-bishops-on-catholic-role-in-genocide-57153/

Ncronlineorg. (2016). National Catholic Reporter. https://www.ncronline.org/news/world/rwandan-bishops-apologize-role-1994-genocide

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