cover image The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

John Rucyahana, with James Riordan. . W, $19.99 (216pp) ISBN 978-0-8499-0052-5

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. (Mar. 6)