Friday, November 10, 2006

Proud Moments in Religious Thought and Action

Rwanda Nun Jailed over Genocide
BBC - A Roman Catholic nun has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for her role in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Theophister Mukakibibi was jailed by a traditional Rwandan court for helping ethnic Hutu militiamen kill Tutsis hiding in a hospital where she worked.

Two other Catholic nuns were found guilty by a Belgian court in 2001, and male priests have also faced trial. According to the president of the local gacaca court in Butare, the nun selected Tutsis sheltering in the hospital and threw them out for the militias to kill.

He said she did not spare pregnant women, and was also accused of dumping a baby in a latrine, the Reuters news agency reports. Some members of the Catholic hierarchy in Rwanda had close ties to extremist politicians and aided Hutu militias in the run-up to the killings.

Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the 1994 genocide and thousands of people were killed after seeking sanctuary in churches.

God Lets Local Issues Sort Themselves Out in Rwanda - Too Busy Listening to Ted Haggard Prattle on About the Evils of Homosexuality.

BBC - Twenty-year-old Zafran Mukantwari was the only person in her family who survived the genocide. She is tightly veiled and speaks softly as she tells me what happened 10 years ago.

Her family were Catholic, she says. Those who killed them worshipped at the same church.

At the age of 10, Zafran found herself alone and at first she continued going to church. She thought she could find support there. But then she began to question her faith.

"When I realised that the people I was praying with killed my parents, I preferred to become a Muslim because Muslims did not kill." Before the genocide more than 60% of Rwandans were Catholic.

And when the killings started, tens of thousands of Tutsis fled to churches for sanctuary. But they found little protection there. At the church of Sainte Famille the priest in charge of the church, Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, is blamed for colluding with the killers. Discarding his priest's cassock, witnesses say he took to wearing a flack jacket and carrying a pistol.


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