Church moves to address internal wrangles

MUHANGA- A newly formed committee of the Association of Pentecostal Churches in Rwanda (ADEPR), has vowed to spread its campaign to sensitise the public on unity.This was disclosed by Pastor Modeste Uwabimfura, the chairman of the committee, during a meeting with ADEPR pastors in Muhanga District on Sunday.
 Members of the newly formed anti-injustice committee of the Association of Pentecostal Churches in Rwanda (ADEPR) share a light moment. The New Times /Daniel Sabiiti
Members of the newly formed anti-injustice committee of the Association of Pentecostal Churches in Rwanda (ADEPR) share a light moment. The New Times /Daniel Sabiiti

MUHANGA- A newly formed committee of the Association of Pentecostal Churches in Rwanda (ADEPR), has vowed to spread its campaign to sensitise the public on unity.

This was disclosed by Pastor Modeste Uwabimfura, the chairman of the committee, during a meeting with ADEPR pastors in Muhanga District on Sunday.

Uwabinfura said that the committee had decided to raise awareness among church followers so that they can take part in changing the tarnished image of the church.

“There is a major problem in the church.  We have informed the ministries of Local Government and Justice, but we also need the involvement of the church,” Pastor Uwabinfura said.

He noted that the campaign is aimed at changing the current church leadership, which has been central in creating ethnic divisions, blackmail and unjustly firing and relocating over 50 pastors.

“These internal problems started in 2007 but we were silent, now it has become too much to bear. We are going to struggle for change to have an upright church and leaders according to bible teachings.

We are not going to give up in this fight and we request the government to intervene in this problem” he added.

The committee compiled a written report on the current problems and issues in the church. They include manipulation of church legal statutes, ethnic divisions and tensions among pastors, and holding of illegal elections to appoint top church leaders.

“Some pastors challenged that election and went to court to petition the Ministry of Justice not to validate the elected ADEPR management bureau.

The ADEPR case is currently in court and the Minister of Justice, in a letter No. 64/0825, dated Jan 18. 2011 rejected the request to publish the newly elected church leadership until the court case is resolved.

Other pastors who have been victims of the alleged injustice in the church said that there was need to change and restructure the church leadership.

Pastor Jean Bosco Karisimbi, said: “These problems are shared by many pastors, and they better be resolved before infesting the whole church. It is absurd that the leadership has never changed since the Genocide era. We are asking for change through elections and an interim committee be put in place ahead of the general elections.”

At the meeting, worshippers requested that nagging issues be tabled and resolved immediately by the entire congregation of Pentecostal Christians. Similar meetings and mobilisation campaigns will be held countrywide.

“Our hope is to see that these matters are addressed and the church lives by its example and helps Rwandans to be united, work towards development and social transformation,” one member stressed.

Ends

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