The Catholic Church in Rwanda apologised for the church’s role in the 1994 genocide, saying it regretted the actions of those who participated in the massacres.
“We apologize for all the wrongs the church committed. We apologize on behalf of all Christians for all forms of wrongs we committed. We regret that church members violated their oath of allegiance to God’s commandments,” said the statement by the Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was read out in parishes across the country. “Forgive us for the crime of hate in the country to the extent of also hating our colleagues because of their ethnicity. We didn’t show that we are one family but instead killed each other,” the statement said.
The statement acknowledged that church members planned, aided and carried out the genocide, in which more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists. Many of the victims died at the hands of priests, clergymen and nuns, according to some accounts by survivors, and the Rwandan government said many died in the churches where they sought refuge.
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