11 November 2008

Rwandan Genocide... Ntarama



One of the most shameful parts of the genocide story was the role of the church… as the Hutus began the massacre the Tutsi fled to the churches… but shamefully many of the Catholic priests had sold their souls and invited the Hutus in to decimate their people who were trusting them for protection…

We drove to two churches and one mass grave to hear and see what took place… in Ntarama 5000 Tutsi were killed in one church… some portions of the walls were destroyed by grenades and the inside was filled with the skulls and bones of the 5000 victims…

A structure had been raised over the church in 2005 to preserve the church for generations to see…



The clothes of the victims have been hung on the walls as a memorial... 14 years later the smell of death still churns your stomach as you enter the church...



Other various articles of the victims are still stored in the church as well... in one corner there is a stack of shoes... in another corner are their cups, plates and whatever earthly goods they managed to carry with them from their homes as they fled... finally there is a container filled with their Bibles...



It makes you wonder what their final terror filled moments were like... were they gathered together praying and crying out to God... did they accuse God of forsaking them... or were they filled with peace, trusting that God would deliver them...

I don't think that it is worth drawing conclusions without knowing what took place and no one was there to tell us... instead for me it was an opportunity to reflect on what I might do in their place...

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