Have we been enslaved by religion?

Editor, RE: “Who will inherit the clarity of purpose?” (The New Times, January 8).


RE: “Who will inherit the clarity of purpose?” (The New Times, January 8).

An excellent metaphorical depiction of the challenges Rwanda faces in transitioning from the liberator generation to its post-liberation successors.

One of the key benefactors—and arguably the most important for the principal domestic colonial agents, especially as it was also a critical architect in distorting Rwandans’ psyche, acculturization and continued deepening of our people’s mental enslavement Lonzen Rugira left out of this story—is the Church.

While we have largely succeeded in wresting ourselves from Belgian and French colonial and neo-colonial domination, the mental hold of the beliefs from foreign religions on our people’s collective psyche and thinking continues to grow.

While there is nothing necessarily wrong in this, it is important that our education systems increase the effort to promote even further a greater shared sense of Rwandanness within diverse religious affiliations so that we are all Rwandans before we are anything else.

We must not forget the role religion (or at any rate religious institutions and power-seeking clergy) played in eroding our culture, weakening Rwandans’ unity, and planting and cultivating the seeds that eventually led to Genocide against a section of the Rwandan family. To say this is not to be anti-religion, just to say what needs to be openly stated.