HUYE- Prime Minister Bernard Makuza has commended the Anglican Church and other religious organizations for their role in the country’s development.
He said this while delivering a speech on behalf of President Paul Kagame, at the consecration and installation of the Rt. Reverend Nathan Gasatura as Bishop of Butare Anglican Diocese on Sunday.
The Premier said that in the history of Rwanda, the Church played an important role in fighting illiteracy and spreading Christianity which was embraced by many Rwandans.
He said that many Rwandans were baptized, prayed and followed to the letter all other practices as demanded by the Church but that this did not deter them and their leaders from doing evil as evidenced in the country’s bad history.
The Premier said that something was lacking in the teachings then and that this is what current Church leaders have to look for and put right.
He said: “Churches and Religions should embark on teachings that help Rwandans to change their mindset, behaviour and way of doing things. Church teachings must be followed by action.”
Prime Minister Makuza said that squabbles that have been reported in different churches and between church leaders only result in loss of valuable time that would otherwise be channelled in developmental activities.
He said that such squabbles should not be characteristic of leaders, adding that the Government and Church leaders should be persons of integrity.
“Doing so pleases and glorifies God,” he said. He called for partnership between Government and Churches in building a country that Rwandans will be proud to live in.
Makuza promised Government’s unwavering support for Bishop Gasatura’s 20 year development programme that seeks to create ‘a transformed, harmonious and prosperous diocese by the year 2030.
Bishop Gasatura who has been working with World Vision, becomes the third Bishop of Butare Anglican Diocese after Bishop Venuste Mutiganda who went into early retirement.
The colourful consecration and installation ceremony attended by different Bishops from the region was presided over by Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini who has been overseeing the diocese for the last two years.
Kolini reminded consecrated Bishop of the mountainous task ahead of providing both spiritual and physical nourishment to the Christians in his diocese. He tasked the new bishop to tackle the practice of idol worship; a practice he said is rampant in the Diocese.
In his massage to Gasatura, , Bishop Edward Muhima from the North Kigezi Diocese in South Western Uganda asked his counterpart to remain steadfast in times of trial and not to fear taking tough decisions if they are meant for the good of the Christians.
“God is not asking for your ability because you are not able. He is asking for your availability,” said the aging prelate.
“Humble yourself my brother, pride comes before a fall,” he counselled.
Bishop Muhima called upon the new Bishop to work on rebuilding people’s moral fabric and relationships through reconciliation.
“People who are broken morally cannot build a broken nation or Church. Rwanda will only be a great nation if its people are morally upright,” said Bishop Muhima.
In his ‘Bishop’s Charge’, Bishop Nathan Gasatura enumerated his ‘God given Butare Vision 2030’ in which he envisages a transformed, harmonious and prosperous diocese.
“We will reach out to the broken hearted, vulnerable, poor and needy orphans and widows with the saving and hope giving Gospel of Christ,” said Bishop Gasatura.
Bishop Gasatura said that a deliberate assessment and situation analysis of the Diocese will be conducted in the first six months and that a clear design detailing all the components and issues to be addressed in the next 20 years will be highlighted and demonstrated.
The consecration ceremony was attended by a host of senior government officials who included ministers, parliamentarians and other heads of different institutions in the country.