Clerics rally for unity on Easter

Thousands of Christians, yesterday morning, thronged churches across the country to celebrate Easter Sunday, a day marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Christians leave St Famille in Kigali after Easter Prayers yesterday. Religious in Kigali preached unity and reconciliation among Rwandans.  John Mbanda.
Christians leave St Famille in Kigali after Easter Prayers yesterday. Religious in Kigali preached unity and reconciliation among Rwandans. John Mbanda.

Thousands of Christians, yesterday morning, thronged churches across the country to celebrate Easter Sunday, a day marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Religious leaders from different churches in Kigali took the opportunity to preach unity and reconciliation to their congregations, mainly relating their preaching to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and Rwanda’s rebirth.

 In his sermons at St. Etienne Cathedral, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Kigali, Louis Muvunyi, said besides the mayhem that befell Rwanda 20 years ago, Easter is a reminder that God still cares about His people.

 “Easter comes at a time when Rwandans are commemorating the Genocide and the journey to rebuild the country. It is time to be reminded that God still cares,” Muvunyi said.

 He added: “Easter reminds us that evil cannot triumph over good and it carries with it a  message of hope and reconciliation.”

 At St Michel Cathedral, Christians were advised to strengthen reconciliation as well as work hard for the economic development of the country.

Speaking with The New Times after preaching, Fr Charles Ntabyera observed that although the gospel has spread wide, there were some people still caught up in evil acts, and noted that it would be imperative for Christians to shun evil deeds.

 “We are all Rwandans and God’s creation. We have to shun discrimination, hatred and focus on unity and reconciliation,” Ntabyera said.

 “Jesus’ triumph over death and sin implies victory for us believers,” he said, urging Christians to forfeit earthly riches that wither away and work toward heavenly riches that stand the test of time.

 Across the country, Easter was marked in a colourful way with families getting together and celebrating.

Patrick Harelimana, a believer, noted that Easter is important to all the faithful since it reminds them of the need to be courageous.

“On this day, we remember when Christ overcame death and delivered us from the grip of sin,” he said

Jacqueline Musabyeyezu, an elderly woman, interpreted Easter as a moment for Rwandans to recommit to each other as a united people.

 “Jesus Christ died and resurrected and, as a Christian, I have hope that our beloved people who perished in the Genocide will also resurrect and we meet again in heaven to live eternally,” she said. 

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