More than 700,000 Adventists across the African country of Rwanda commemorated the 22nd anniversary of the Tutsi genocide last week as they prayed, sang inspirational songs and listened to testimonies.
In 1994, the Tutsi were an ethnic minority in the nation of Rwanda, where the majority of the population was Hutu. Hutu extremists blamed Rwanda’s social, economic, and political problems on the Tutsi population, and feared they were preparing to launch a rebellion. After propagating a message of fear throughout the nation, Hutu extremists would go on to kill three-quarters of the Tutsi community in 100 days.
Hesron Byilingiro, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Rwanda, said, “The Adventist Church extends our hands of comfort and love to the families of over 800,000 men, women, and children who were victims of this horrible tragedy.”
During the month-long commemoration, Seventh-day Adventist churches in Rwanda will hold prayer vigils, musical programs and grief counseling workshops to help bring healing to survivors and the countless individuals who carry the memory of the terrible atrocity.