Thursday, April 16, 2009

A time to reconcile

This month, as Rwanda marks the 15th anniversary of its genocide, an Anglican church in the Triangle is trying to glean lessons from the aftermath of the mass killings.

All Saints Church has good formal reasons to undertake the study. From a denominational standpoint, it is part of the Anglican Mission in America, which is overseen by the Anglican Church of Rwanda.

The congregation, formed in 2005, also has a sister parish relationship with a church in the southern Rwandan city of Butare.

But members of this young church say they are genuinely interested in the small African nation and what its pursuit of reconciliation may teach them about their shared faith.
To that end, the church recently hosted a dinner for Rwandans living in the Triangle and screened a documentary that tells the story of two Rwandan women coming face to face with the men who killed their families.

The film, "As We Forgive" by Laura Waters Hinson, describes the ongoing reconciliation efforts between members of the Hutu ethnic group, who in 1994 killed about 800,000 fellow Rwandans who happened to be members of another ethnic group, the Tutsis.

"If you have doubts and you see a miracle in your life, will it help your faith? Absolutely, yes," said Ehsan Samei, an Iranian-born member of the church. He said the efforts of the Rwandan people to reconcile have energized his faith.


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