by Marc Lacey
KIGALI, Rwanda, April 6 -- When 800,000 of their countrymen were killed in
massacres that began 10 years ago this week, many Rwandans lost faith not
only in their government but in their religion as well. Today, in what is
still a predominantly Catholic country, Islam is the fastest growing
Roman Catholicism has been the dominant faith in Rwanda for more than a
century. But many people, disgusted by the role that some priests and nuns
played in the killing frenzy, have shunned organized religion altogether,
and many more have turned to Islam. . . .
The Muslim community now boasts so many converts that it has had to embark
on a crash campaign to build new mosques to accommodate all of the faithful.
About 500 mosques are scattered throughout Rwanda, about double the number
that existed a decade ago.
Although no accurate census has been done, Muslims leaders in Rwanda
estimate that they have about a million followers, or about 15 percent of
the population. That, too, would represent a doubling of their numbers in
the past 10 years. . . .
Eric Margolis, "Onward Christian Soldiers," The
Wisdom Fund, December 2, 1996
Enver Masud, "If Hutus And Tutsis Were Muslim
Media Would Say So," The Wisdom Fund, December 10, 1996
Eric Margolis, "Fire And Sword In The Sudan,"
The Toronto Sun, January 27, 1997
Eric Margolis, "The Great Race For Africa
Resumes," The Toronto Sun, March 9, 1997
David Usborne, "UN
says war in Congo is fuelled by foreign firms," Independent, October 31,
Brian Smith, "Uganda:
Hundreds of civilians massacred by Lord's Resistance Army," World
Socialist Web Site, March 1, 2004
Rory Carroll, "US chose
to ignore Rwandan genocide," Guardian, March 31, 2004
"'Ethnic Cleansing' in Sudan?," BBC News, April 3, 2004
Rory Carroll, "Rwanda army masses on Congo border: Conflict looms in row over
clandestine mining of mineral riches," The Observer, November 28, 2004
Meera Selva, "Ugandan
chief of Lord's Army faces war crimes trial," Independent, October 7,
Linda Melvern, "French
accused of complicity in genocide that killed a million in Rwanda,"
Independent, November 5, 2006