Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi, yesterday called on churches to promote agriculture and literacy as they continue to spread the word of God among believers.
The Premier was the chief guest during jubilee celebrations of the Council of Protestant Churches of Rwanda (CPR). He commended the contribution of churches in consolidating peace and unity in post-genocide Rwanda.
“The government greatly appreciates the contribution of CPR towards national development. CPR has been vital in fostering education, health and capacity building.
“We ask you to continue reminding Christians of their purpose in life. Teach their children cultural, family and national values. Through this, we will develop our country,” Murekezi said.
He said that since more than 70 per cent of Rwandans depend on agriculture, it was necessary for the church to encourage Christians to engage more in farming and information communication technology—key areas of national development agenda.
CPR, which started in 1964 with only four Anglican churches, has grown into an umbrella body of 23 churches and denominations. Murekezi asked church leaders to encourage Christians to develop a culture of reading and writing, saying it is through literacy that the country could achieve development objectives.
“We encourage you to continue bringing people together; because it is through Unity that the country can be at peace,” he said.
Bishop Alexis Bilindabagabo, the chairperson of CPR, said the 50 years since the council was established was a milestone worth praising God for and an opportunity to think ahead.
“This is a great day of thanking God who has enabled us in all that we have done. But it is indeed another moment to look forward, and think about future objectives and targets,” said Bilindabagabo.
CPR has built over 600 primary and 300 secondary schools in the country as well as several social institutions.
“There are a number of development projects we have been involved in including hospitals and health centres. We are now looking at how we can develop agriculture and animal husbandry, and using some of our land as agricultural demonstration farms,” the bishop added.
Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, who led the prayers, challenged the congregation not to focus on differences in styles of worship, but rather follow Christ faithfully and in unity.
“We should not follow those little things that vary in faith, like, baptism, dress code or any other, but be one as a church of God,” said Rwaje.