The bishop of Butare diocese has called on Rwandans to forgive each other for genocide crimes committed during the 1994 genocide against that Tutsi as a way to build peace in the country.
The bishop made the remarks during a consultative meeting between religious leaders and the national unity and reconciliation commission (NURC) in Huye district this May 17, 2016.
Bishop Rukamba said that to ask for forgiveness there must be a change of heart on the victim and perpetraror, but one way or the other, the motivation to do so can bring a peace of mind.
“Genocide survivors of the genocide should take the initiative to forgive the perpetrators even when the latter are hesitant to ask for forgiveness- this will bring peace in their minds” he said.
Rukamba said that since the church played a big role in the genocide. Rwandan religious leaders have to put a lot of emphasis in creating the right atmosphere for reconciliation, especially using the existing Ndi umunyarwanda (Rwandaness) programs.
In a related development, the executive secretary of NURC, Fidele Ndayisaba told religious leaders in Kigali that those religious who committed and were convicted of genocide crimes should be denied their religious titles and removed from their posts.
“It is not guess work when it comes to religious leaders who committed genocide crimes. Christians know and have the correct information on which religious leaders committed genocide. These people still hold their positions, but it would be good if they are removed from these positions and this should be made public” Ndayisaba said.
The national unity and reconciliation commission says that there has been progress in the process of reconciliation and this is currently rated at above 80 percent. The commission also says that there is still need to stick to the policies of educating Rwandans to fight genocide ideology which still surfaces- at least during genocide commemoration periods.