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L'Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda
Harelimana Swaleh, second from right, and Archbishop Kolini, right, at Norwegian Church Aid headquarters.
Photo No. : P051216-1
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Religious Leaders Vow To Continue Reconciliation Activities
by Grace Mugabe
RWANDA 051216-1
December 16, 2005

[L'Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda - Rwanda] The leader of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, has assured Norwegian church representatives for eastern Africa that reconciliation activities in the country must continue, with or without funds.

The prelate said this on 12th .December at Norwegian Church Aid headquarters in Remera. He was in a meeting that focused on the way to strengthen reconciliation projects as well as to find solutions for soliciting funds for reconciliation projects from European Union, MFA and other donors.

The representatives had been in the country to assess the achievements of the unity and reconciliation activities of of faith groups. The East African region is comprised of 10 African countries, of which Rwanda is one.

The meeting brought together different religious faiths in the country. It was also attended by the Executive Secretary for Gacaca courts, Mukantaganzwa Dometilla, who told the gathering that Gacaca has contributed much in the reconciliation process in the country.

“I think reconciliation is our belief as the church and people of Rwanda. Therefore I believe that with money or without it, reconciliation work will continue in our country for the good of the Rwandans,” Archbishop Kolini told the partners.

His Grace Archbishop Kolini is also president of the Inter-Faith body that brings together all the religious denominations in the country. The body has been involved in reconciling released prisoners and genocide survivors across Rwanda. This has prompted the government of Rwanda to laud the Episcopal Church of Rwanda for building peace in the country after the 1994 Genocide which left the Church and the nation in shackles.

The Episcopal Church of Rwanda has been on the forefront of building peace and fighting HIV-Aids in the region, according to a report produced in 2004 in The New Times, an independent English newspaper of Rwanda.

The vice chairman of the unity and reconciliation commission, Antoine Rutayisire, told participants in an extraordinary meeting that programs of prison fellowship will continue for the sake of reconciling released prisoners and survivors of the Genocide. He urged religious faiths to unite for common goals.

In his key points, the Islamic leader, Harelimana Swaleh, urged all faith groups to work together in order to streamline reconciliation activities for the sake of building the nation. “We should join hands and work together towards achieving effective reconciliation for the good of our nation,” the Rwandan Islamic leader said.

“In all we are trying to do, we should build on the government’s plan of action and surely this would give us a defined path for effective reconciliation,” Norwegian Church Aid coordinator for the Great Lakes Region, Clemance Bideri, said.

Norwegian Church Aid is a Christian aid agency from Norway. It funds different projects through churches and governments all over the globe.