Genocide and Forgiveness

April 11, 2008

Fourteen years ago, the genocide in Rwanda was at its height. See this link for a fascinating account – in the New York Times of all places – of the impact of the Gospel on reconciliation and forgiveness between perpetrators and relatives of victims. Here’s an excerpt: Words spoken by Jean Baptiste Ntakirutimana to the man who murdered his mother:

By the time he started explaining how he killed her I partly lost consciousness. I prayed to God to give me His spirit to revive me and give me more strength to continue, as I felt it was His mission I was on. Miraculously I felt warmth from my head to my feet, I felt like a big rock melting from my chest and my head. I felt very refreshed, cleaned up my tears and carried on the conversation tremendously relieved from my whole being. I then told him that I have personally been forgiven all my wrong from God and that it is in the same spirit that I was coming to him offering him pardon myself. Then it was like a huge veil off his face he started smiling with a lot of words of gratitude. He started holding my hands and telling me many other things I couldn’t expect about himself and the reality around the genocide. He agreed to go and see other people for whose family members he killed.”

Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!