Photo Credit: Down & Dromore
A service to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide will take place on Monday 7th April at 7.30 p.m. in St Anne’s Cathedral Belfast. The speaker will be the Presbyterian Moderator, The Rt Revd Dr Rob Craig.
The Revd Canon Jerome Munyangaju, Rector of Killyleagh, who – along with the Dean of St Anne’s, the Very Revd John Mann – will also participate in the service, said in advance of it:
‘This year, the 7th of April marks the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. This 20th anniversary is an important occasion on which we remember over a million lives brutally lost in just 100 days. Their cries should have been answered, yet the international community, aware of the desperate situation, chose not to intervene. The country and its people have scarring memories of the violent killings, pain and trauma. Kwibuka (remembering) of our past helps toward the healing of our future. We invite the people of both Rwanda and the world to give this anniversary a positive meaning of learning more about forgiveness, unity and renewal, and commit to praying and working to ensure the adage “Never Again” is a reality rather than rhetoric in our world.’
He continued, ‘Thankfully, this sad chapter of our history has been acknowledged in imaginative and creative ways. A new story of reconciliation and nation building is an inspiring lesson which can be replicated across many parts of our divided world. Our past has divided us by focusing on ethnic stereotypes and other forms of sectarianism, hence the catastrophic consequences of disregard of life. Forgiveness has come to be the key in rebuilding Rwanda, and 20 years later, we are seeing the tremendous results.’
Dean Mann says, ‘This service is such an important occasion, but is unlike many that we hold at Saint Anne’s, in that it is reaching out in Christ to those who have suffered deeply in a situation far beyond our imagination. It is a commemoration in which prayer will be placed at its heart, and the plea for compassion and hope held as its intent and desire.’