Rwanda - (Africa)

Information about Rwanda

26338 square kilometres
Roman Catholic 65%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 1%, indigenous beliefs and other 25%
Christian (%)
Protestant (%)
Reformed (%)

Because of its mountainous landscape and its being enclaved in the interior of the African continent, Rwanda was one of the last African countries conquered by colonial powers. Before the Berlin Conference (1885) which placed the country under German rule, cutting off half of its territory, political and military authority was exercised by a monarchy which succeeded in unifying the three social classes known as Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa. After World War I the Germans were forced to leave and Rwanda was placed under Belgian protection until independence was gained on July, 1, 1962. As a result of insufficient preparation for the transition, Hutu and Tutsi were stirred up against each other, with the consequence that many Tutsi were exterminated and others driven into exile. In 1990 descendants of these refugees, who had not been authorized to return to the country, invaded Rwanda from Uganda with foreign help. In 1994 an unprecedented massacre took place which resulted in over a million victims among the Tutsi and a number of Hutu political leaders.
The first missionaries were RCath White Fathers (1900). The first Prot mission was the German Bethel Mission (1907), a new body established for missionary work in the African territories of Germany, whose spiritual direction was decisively influenced by Friedrich von Bodelschwing (1831-1910). Besides the RCath and the Presbyterian Church the following churches have taken root in Rwanda: Angl, Free Meth, Bapt, Pent, and Advent. The country has been famous for its participation in the East Africa Revival movement in the ’30s. Today all churches suffer from the consequences of the genocide which has carried away many of its members, including many clergy.


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