Monday, August 6, 2012

Anglican Churches Supporting Armed Insurgency Congo?

When sexual or other abuses are suspected most Churches today will start an indepedent investigation. At least that's what I understand from recent cases in the Netherlands, Belgium and the US.

The Anglican church in Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda has links to England's Anglican Church through Paul Butler, who was installed as Bishop of Southwell and Nottingh since 2010 ( more then 300 church buildings ). We read about Paul Butler here:

'Bishop Paul has always been passionate about being part of the world church, with a particular interest in and commitment to Rwanda and Uganda. He served on the Council of the Rwanda Mission/Mid Africa Ministry from 1988-99 and 2000-1. In 2001 he became a Trustee of CMS and was appointed as an Honorary Canon of Byumba, Rwanda.'
Paul Butler is also the Chairman of the Trustees of 'the friends of Byumba'  in Rwanda. He recently visited Burundi, as described on his blog.
At the same time the Rwandan Anglican church has a strong link to several Anglican churches in the US. The nature of the relationship has changed somewhat since last year, as is clear from a letter by John Rucyahana from november 2011.

Bishop John Rucyahana and former Archbishop Kollini are mentioned in the United Nations Group of Experts Report on Congo as organisers of the M23 insurgency.(It's unfortunate this Church of England's newspaper article calls the war in Congo a 'civil war' while that's precisely what is disputed).

 Bishop John Rucyahana denies his involvement in the M23 insurgency on his own website. Former Rwandan Archbishop Kollini has not reacted to the allegations as of yet. Most likely because his name was misspelled in the UN expert report (and he still hopes to avoid the bad press).
In Reformed churches a pastor who retires retains the title of emeritus pastor. I suppose it's the same in the Anglican churches. It therefore makes no difference wether these bishops are retired or not. The extremely serious accusations, backed by several witnesses, deserve to be taken seriously and deserve to be thorougly investigated by an internal investigation of the Anglican church.
Bishop John Rucyahana's claim that he does not support armed insurgency in Congo contradicts his own writings on the RPF propaganda website 'The New Times' the same week. The article on the new times website is full of what Museveni would probably consider his 'ideology': 'africanism', nationalism and supposed patriotism (a misplaced pride based on accusations against the west, westerners, colonialism, etc etc). Does the Anglican church really want to be associated with this Museveni-style revolutionary rhetoric that clearly serves as figleaf for these bloodsoaked regimes?
I would think that Anglican churches in the UK and the US with links to Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi would have serious questions for this bishop John Rucyahana and the Rwandan Church that ordained him.

Emmanuel Kollini, former archbishop of Kigali, boycotted the Lambeth conference in 2008 because of difference of opinion on homosexuality (apparently supporting armed insurgency in a neighbouring country is less of a problem). A characteristic Museveni quote (remember 'africanism') in this weeks article by Godfrey Ntagungira in The New Times explains this apparent contradiction:
'Don’t fear; resist and do not compromise on that. It is a danger not only to the believers but to the whole of Africa. It is bad if our children become complacent and think that people who are not in order are alright.'
Below we can see John Rucyahana in action as propaganda master for the regime.

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