Are you a member of the Anglican Mission in America? Are you aware of Bishop John Rucyahana of Rwanda? Have you donated to one of his many causes? If so, there is a reason you should be worried.
It is very rare that a bishop gets mentioned by an important United Nation report for funding a murderous rebel group. But this is Rwanda where there is a long history of the church being used to serve sinister political agendas.
Rucyahana has similarly failed to live up to expectations and has betrayed the powerless—the very people he ought to support.
Thus, while this might come to you as a surprise, to many Rwandans it is not. The history of the church in Rwanda is mired with the blood of the innocent. In 1994, the Hutu church leaders joined hands with the government to terminate a section of the Rwandan society. History continues to repeat.
For all the reconciliation talk, Dr. Philip Cantrell's work has shown that Rucyahana and the leadership of the Anglican church of Rwanda have continued to move toward an extremist Tutsi ideology—which believes that full control of all state power is necessary for their survival. In the process, the church has been relegated to an instrument for Tutsi power propaganda.
However, Rucyahana is accused of much more. The latest UN report categorically identifies the bishop as one of the financiers of M23, a notorious Rwanda-backed Tutsi rebel that is blamed for much of the havoc in Eastern Congo. Rucyahana is also identified as a top leader in the Rwandan ruling party.
For more than a decade now, Rwanda’s ruling regime has participated in the open plunder of the Congo leaving behind a trail of innocent blood. About 5 million people have died in the process and its eastern region—close to Rwandan borders has never fully recovered. The suffering has been even more devastating for children and women—the region has been called the rape capital of the world!
So how does such a respected bishop who is supposed to be enjoying a quiet retirement at home with his grandchildren get involved in such carnage? This is a question that is difficult to answer and would require a serious analysis of human nature. It is difficult to understand the motivations that lead people into such blatant evil.
To be fair, Rucyahana boasts a number of impressive accomplishments as well. For instance, he has built the Sonrise Academy, which is one of the leading educational towers in Rwanda. It is also through him that Rwanda has attracted a lot of direct investments—some of which has no doubt benefited the people.
Most significantly, Rucyahana has been the link between mega-church leader Rick Warren and the Rwandan government. Pastor Warren, on his part, has promised to make Rwanda the first “purpose-driven” nation.
It is not clear whether Warren fully understands what he got himself into or whether some of his money has been channeled to support M23
What we know for sure is that Warren continues to be an active supporter of the Rwandan dictator, Paul Kagame, having conferred to him his annual International Medal of Peace. Of course, the story cannot get any more cynical! Warren also has a Rwandan passport, which was given to him some two years ago.
Regardless of what path the members of the Anglican mission in America will take, it is imperative for them to become aware of what kind of people they are supporting in Rwanda. They should also try to get informed on the escalating humanitarian situation in the Congo where the M23 is reportedly conducting a revenge slaughter against local leaders who refused to support them.
In this interconnected world, there is no reason for lending blind support to any criminal regardless of their credentials. Indeed, Rucyahana's accomplishments mean nothing if the murder of millions of people is the price to pay.
Lastly, it is important, when helping, to keep in mind of how our aid will affect people. In this sad but yet to be finished episode, your money might be causing murder, pillaging and rape of the Congolese nation.