Sunday, February 26, 2017

Black History Month Books: A man stood down Death


John Rucyahana, with James Riordan, The Bishop of Rwanda (Thomas Nelson, 2007) ISBN 13: 978-0-8499-0052-5/ 10: 0-8499-0052-2. Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket, very good condition, 231 pp. Foreword by Rev. Rick Warren. Autographed on front end pages by the author. HBB price $45.

Publisher’s Weekly said of this book:

Bishop John Rucyahana, an ethnic Tutsi refugee, was a leader in the Anglican Church of Uganda during the genocide of his people in Rwanda. He moved back in 1997 with his family to lead the largest and most devastated diocese there. The bulk of his narrative recounts the same story that others have told of the incomprehensibly brutal extermination of nearly one million Tutsis in 100 days. What this powerful, if unevenly edited, book adds is a deeper understanding of the role of the churches in the genocide. Although many Hutu pastors died protecting the Tutsis of their flocks, often religious clergy participated in the abhorrent violence, killing or betraying members of their congregations. The people of Rwanda have lost trust in authority of any kind, including religion, and so Rucyahana notes that the healing work that must now be accomplished can only be done through integrity and pure love. Bishop John has built ministries for both genocide survivors and perpetrators, releasing the pain from both sides and acting as a beacon for other communities suffering from their own destructive divisions. To anyone who has ever struggled to forgive or felt too far gone to repent, this book plumbs the depth of God's grace and finds no bottom.

In recent years Bishop Rucyahana has held an appointment as one of four bishops to the Anglican Church of Rwanda’s Mission in America, leading Episcopal congregations dissenting from the American church’s position on homosexuality. He maintains close ties to the Rwandan regime, and with Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church; Warren has declared he wants to make Rwanda the first “purpose-driven nation” in the world.


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