The Genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda: Understanding God’s Role and Choosing Love

Faced with the grim reality of the Genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda, one cannot help but question the role of God in such horrific events. As an American writing from a faith-based perspective, I seek to shed light on the matter, particularly in the context of Rwanda, where approximately 93% of Rwandans identify as Christians.

To comprehend the spiritual reality we live in, we must trace back to the beginning, where God created the heavens and the earth, along with humanity. However, the entry of sin into the world disrupted this divine harmony, as humans chose to disobey God, leading to a fallen state where we all fall short of His glory. In response to our predicament, Jesus demonstrated unmatched love for humanity by selflessly descending to earth, taking on our sins, and offering Himself as the ultimate sacrifice. His triumphant resurrection on the third day, powered by the Holy Spirit, attests to His victory over death.

Upon accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, Jesus grants us the precious gift of His Holy Spirit, which becomes a guiding force in our lives, helping in our weaknesses, and leading us to all truths. This divine presence serves as unwavering support and counsel, ensuring that we walk in the path of righteousness and understanding. In that perspective, it is essential to acknowledge that God did not will the Genocide; rather, it was a consequence of human choices and actions, driven by hatred and evil.

The Bible warns against false prophets and those who masquerade as God’s representatives while harboring malevolent intentions. In the case of Rwanda, some priests and nuns shamefully took part in the Genocide, behaving as wolves in sheep’s clothing, which the scriptures forewarned us about. These individuals betrayed their divine calling and the teachings of love and compassion that Christianity stands for. It’s important to understand, serving or representing the Kingdom of God or being His child transcends mere religion, titles within institutions, or doctrines.

To identify the authenticity of God’s representatives, we can look at the fruits they bear, as described in Galatians 5:22-23. True followers of Christ will exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, not hatred, violence, and cruelty.

At the memorials, such as Ntamara, Nyarunuye, and Murambi, we were exposed to the gruesome reality of the atrocities committed during the Genocide. Amidst the darkness, we also found stories of courage and love, of individuals like Father Celestin at the St. Paul pastoral center in Kigali. He bravely protected thousands seeking refuge, choosing life over death. These heroic acts reflect the genuine teachings of Christ.

The Hutu 10 Commandments found at Murambi as well as at Kigali museum exposed the wicked agenda of the genocidal perpetrators. However, those who resisted the darkness and chose to love their neighbors demonstrated their connection to God’s kingdom. Sister Marie Jean de la Croix and Christine Kumunani’s accounts of rescuing and providing safety to Tutsis illustrate the power of God’s love and strength at work within them in the face of hate and fear.

In the end, we are all granted the freedom to choose between life and death, between love and hate. God does not force our decisions; instead, He extends His love and guidance through His Holy Spirit. True transformation comes from a personal and intimate relationship with God, one that bears the fruits of righteousness.

Though we may never fully comprehend the depths of the genocide’s horror, we must remember that God is not to blame. He remains the source of love and life, guiding those who follow Him to choose compassion, forgiveness, and unity.

As Rwanda embarked on its journey of healing and reconciliation, the nation has moved forward by embracing love and choosing life, united by the spirit of resilience. The darkness of the past serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of unchecked hatred and division, urging us to reject evil and embrace love, as God intended.

Amidst the struggle to find meaning in such a tragedy, I offer the following reflection: “Taste and see that God is good… With your whole heart, earnestly say: ‘God reveal yourself to me. I want to know you. I want to experience your love. Take charge of my life. I don’t want to do it alone anymore…’” I promise you; He will surprise you.

As we stand accountable for our choices, let us choose life and love, knowing that God’s grace and redemption are ever-present, offering hope and healing to all who seek it. May Rwanda’s story serve as a testament to the power of forgiveness, love, and reconciliation in overcoming the darkest chapters of history. The enduring love of God casts away all fears, all sorrows, all pain as His inexplicable peace fills your heart. In closing, I hope you’ll choose to taste and see how good God is.

                                                                                   Rose François

Résumé / Zusammenfassung / Summary:

Ce texte examine, d’un point de vue religieux, le rôle de Dieu dans le génocide des Tutsi au Rwanda. L’autrice affirme que le péché humain a perturbé l’harmonie divine, mais que Dieu a réagi par le sacrifice rédempteur de Jésus. Selon l’auteur, le génocide est le résultat de choix humains motivés par la haine, et non de la volonté divine. Le texte met l’accent sur le discernement des véritables représentants de Dieu par des actions motivées par l’amour et les oppose à ceux qui ont participé au génocide. Les exemples de courage et de compassion pendant le génocide soulignent la puissance du choix de l’amour plutôt que de la haine, reflétant une relation personnelle avec Dieu.

Dieser Text untersucht aus religiöser Sicht die Rolle Gottes beim Völkermord an der Tutsi in Ruanda. Die Autorin argumentiert, dass die menschliche Sünde die göttliche Harmonie gestört habe, Gott aber mit dem erlösenden Opfer Jesu reagiert habe. Nach Ansicht der Autorin ist der Völkermord das Ergebnis menschlicher Entscheidungen, die von Hass getrieben waren, und nicht des göttlichen Willens. Der Text betont die Unterscheidung der wahren Vertreter Gottes durch von Liebe getriebene Handlungen und stellt sie denjenigen gegenüber, die am Völkermord beteiligt waren. Die Beispiele für Mut und Mitgefühl während des Völkermords unterstreichen die Macht der Entscheidung für die Liebe statt für den Hass, die eine persönliche Beziehung zu Gott widerspiegelt.

The text delves into God’s role amidst the Rwandan Genocide, from a faith-based viewpoint. The author argues that human sin disrupted divine harmony, but God responded with Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice. The Genocide, as per the author, resulted from human choices driven by hatred, not divine will. The text highlights discerning true representatives of God through love-driven actions and contrasts them with those involved in the Genocide. Instances of courage and compassion during the Genocide underscore the power of choosing love over hate, reflecting a personal relationship with God.

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