The Anglican Bishop of Gahini Diocese, Alexis Bilindabagabo, has been elected president of the Council of Protestant Churches of Rwanda (CPR), replacing the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, Dr Onesphore Rwaje.
Bilindabagabo, who has been the Bishop of Gahini since 1994, is also the Dean of the Province Episcopal au Rwanda (PEAR).
Established in 1962, the council brings together 23 religious denominations and Christian organisations, with the aim of promoting unity and cooperation among churches.
The members include the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda, the Province Episcopal Au Rwanda (PEAR) and the Association of Baptist Churches of Rwanda.
Others are the Lutheran Church, The Seventh Day Adventist Church, Association of Pentecostal Churches of Rwanda (ADEPR), the Nazarene Church, Free Methodist Church, Brethren Church, African Evangelistic Enterprise, African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) and Youth for Christ.
In an interview with The New Times, Bilindabagabo noted that during his tenure, he intends to embark on fighting drugs among the youth as well as gender based violence.
“Top on my agenda is to fight drugs and GBV through collaborating with the government because these two issues need combined efforts by all stakeholders,” he said by phone.
CPR also acts as a platform for resolving conflicts and misunderstandings in churches, promotes and provide initiatives for many social development programmes and provides leadership and resources for trauma counselling for survivors to recover and reconcile from the Genocide.
The council also promotes healing, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Bilindabagabo, a Genocide survivor, is one of the clerics who were serving during the Genocide and one of the founders of Barakabaho Foundation, loosely translated as ‘Let them live.’
The foundation, born in 1995, provides support, including education, to thousands of children Genocide survivors.
He is also the founder of the Christian Movement for Evangelization, Counselling and Reconciliation (MOUCECOR) that he started in 1992 together with his wife, Grace Bilindabagabo.