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Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521191395)

Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda
Cambridge University Press
9780521191395 - Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda - By Timothy Longman
Frontmatter/Prelims

Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda

Although Rwanda is among the most Christian countries in Africa, in the 1994 genocide, church buildings became the primary killing grounds. To explain why so many Christians participated in the violence, this book looks at the history of Christian engagement in Rwanda and then turns to a rich body of original national- and local-level research to argue that Rwanda’s churches have consistently allied themselves with the state and played ethnic politics. Comparing two local Presbyterian parishes in Kibuye before the genocide demonstrates that progressive forces were seeking to democratize the churches. Just as Hutu politicians used the genocide of Tutsi to assert political power and crush democratic reform, church leaders supported the genocide to secure their own power. The fact that Christianity inspired some Rwandans to oppose the genocide demonstrates that opposition by the churches was possible and might have hindered the violence.

Timothy Longman is director of the African Studies Center at Boston University, where he also serves as associate professor of political science. From 1996 to 2009, he served as associate professor of political science and Africana studies at Vassar College. He has also taught at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa; the National University of Rwanda in Butare; and Drake University in Des Moines. He has served as a consultant in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo for USAID and the State Department, the International Center for Transitional Justice, and Human Rights Watch, for whom he served as director of the Rwanda field office 1995–1996. From 2001 to 2005, he served as a Research Fellow for the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, directing research on social reconstruction in post-genocide Rwanda. His articles have appeared in African Studies Review, The Journal of Religion in Africa, Journal of the American Medical Association, Comparative Education Review, Journal of Genocide Research, and America, and he is currently completing a book manuscript titled Memory, Justice, and Power in Post-Genocide Rwanda.


African Studies

The African Studies Series, founded in 1968, is a prestigious series of monographs, general surveys, and textbooks on Africa covering history, political science, anthropology, economics, and ecological and environmental issues. The series seeks to publish work by senior scholars as well as the best new research.

David Anderson
University of Oxford
Catherine Boone
University of Texas at Austin
Carolyn Brown
Rutgers University
Christopher Clapham
University of Cambridge
Michael Gomez
New York University
Nancy J. Jacobs
Brown University
Richard Roberts
Stanford University
David Robinson
Michigan State University
Leonardo A. Villalón
University of Florida

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Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda

Timothy Longman

Boston University


CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
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Cambridge University Press
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Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521191395

© Timothy Longman 2010

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2010
Printed in the United States of America

A catalog record for this publication is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication data

Longman, Timothy Paul.
Christianity and genocide in Rwanda / Timothy Longman.
p. cm. – (African studies)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978–0-521–19139-5 (Hardback)
1. Genocide–Rwanda–History–20th century. 2. Genocide–Religious aspects–Christianity. 3. Rwanda–History–Civil War, 1994–Atrocities. 4. Rwanda–History–Civil War, 1994–Religious aspects. 5. Ethnic relations–Religious aspects–Christianity. I. Title. II. Series.
DT450.435.l66 2010
967.57104′31–dc22 2009023321

ISBN 978-0-521-19139-5 Hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of urls for external or third-party Internet Web sites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such Web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


To my parents, who have always supported me.

To Jacolijn Post and Isaac Nshimiyimana who made my research in Rwanda possible.

To Alison Des Forges whose friendship and insight will be deeply missed.

And to those many Rwandans who lost their lives in the events of 1994. May your sacrifice never be forgotten.


“What we saw in this country surprised us, too. These were things commanded by the devil.…”

– Hutu man, Gisovu, Kibuye


Contents

Acknowledgments
xi
Introduction
1
1         “People Came to Mass Each Day to Pray, Then They Went Out to Kill”: Christian Churches, Civil Society, and Genocide
3
Part I    “River of Blood”: Rwanda’s National Churches and the 1994 Genocide
31
2         “Render Unto Caesar and Musinga …”: Christianity and the Colonial State
33
3         The Churches and the Politics of Ethnicity
58
4         “Working Hand in Hand”: Christian Churches and the Postcolonial State (1962–1990)
82
5         “Giants with Feet of Clay”: Christian Churches and Democratization (1990–1992)
117
6         “It Is the End of the World”: Christian Churches and Genocide (1993–1994)
161
Part II   “God Has Hidden His Face”: Local Churches and the Exercise of Power in Rwanda
199
7         Kirinda: Local Churches and the Construction of Hegemony
203
8         Biguhu: Local Churches, Empowerment of the Poor, and Challenges to Hegemony
240
9         “Commanded by the Devil”: Christian Involvement in the Genocide in Kirinda and Biguhu
268
Conclusion
301
10        Churches and Accounting for Genocide
303
Bibliography
325
Index
341



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