From the Great Lakes to Vatican – Catholic Priest’s account of Church role in 1994 Tutsi Genocide

John Ndorimana is famous in Rwanda not only as a well respected Catholic Priest, but also as an individual who has come out to inform the public through his writings about the truth he knows regarding the Tutsi Genocide from the 1930’s to 1994.
MAN ON MISSION: John Ndorimana.
MAN ON MISSION: John Ndorimana.

John Ndorimana is famous in Rwanda not only as a well respected Catholic Priest, but also as an individual who has come out to inform the public through his writings about the truth he knows regarding the Tutsi Genocide from the 1930’s to 1994.

Ndorimana has so far written three books about the Rwandan Genocide and on Tuesday, he presented to the media and the general public the highlights in the content of his latest book titled; “FROM THE GREAT LAKES TO VATICAN” at a function held at Hotel Okapi, Kigali city.

In his book, which he launched last Thursday, October 22 at Telecom House, the Priest exposes how the Catholic Church played a role in initiating the Genocide since 1959 and in the early 1930’s during the colonial era. Culture and Sports Minister Joseph Habineza was chief guest.

“I am not afraid of what the Catholic Church might do to me,” Ndorimana responded to a question when asked where he gets the strength for this initiative that exposes the role of the Catholic Church in the Genocide.

In his book, he highlights the role leading Priests from both Rwanda and Europe, played in propagating the Genocide ideology and their direct involvement in the Tutsi Genocide since the colonial era.

Ndorimana’s evidence to substantiate his claims stems from authentic documents, that range from letters, historical documents and messages which were sent from Priests in the Great lakes Region to their counterparts in the Vatican.

“That’s why I decided the title of my book should be “FROM THE GREAT LAKES TO VATICAN.”

He further noted that the title of the book includes the Great Lakes Region because the Genocide ideology was initiated within other Great Lakes countries and not in Rwanda as some people believe.

Being a servant of God and a historian who enjoys writing, Ndorimana says that it would not be right for him to keep quiet about what he witnessed during the years of Genocide in Rwanda, which hit their peak in 1994 claiming over a million lives.

On the book cover, he does not claim any clerical title such as Bishop, Priest or Pastor but a simple “John Ndorimana”.

When asked why, he explained that he is serving God as an ordinary priest having resigned as Bishop of the Catholic Church in 2002.

“I prefer being called John Ndorimana,” he stresses with humility.

The ex-Bishop revealed that he formed an association in 2003 which comprises of Priests and Pastors who are interested in telling the truth (about the Tutsi Genocide). He said that the association has affiliate bodies in Italy, the home of the Vatican.

He advised Rwandans to develop a reading culture and start reading about the history of their country than relying on second hand information.

Accordingly, Ndorimana plans to have his book available in all Rwanda’s three official languages; English, Kinya-Rwanda and French.

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