M23 Supporter Rucyahana at Archbishop Stanley Ntagali’s Enthronement

This past Sunday, December 16th, Stanley Ntagali was enthroned as the new Archbishop of Uganda. Several ACNA and GAFCON leaders were in attendance, including Archbishop Duncan, Bishop Minns and Archbishop Rwaje.
Also in attendance was retired Rwandan Bishop John Rucyahana. Two United Nations reports with exacting reporting methodologies have alleged that Rucyahana has been in charge of fundraising for the M23 “rebellion”, an armed extension of the Rwandan military operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo. See this link, for example, which says:

Annex 1: Table of persons mentioned in the report

Name

Nationality

Grade / Position

Relation to M23

On UN sanctions list?

John Rucyahana

Rwandan

Bishop, member of RPF

Oversight of fundraising (p. 8-9)

No.

What’s so bad about the M23? As I noted here, they kidnap kids to fight for them, torture deserters, bury deserters alive and force them to rape. This is the group that Rucyahana is allegedly fundraising for. And yet, here he is at the dinner reception for Archbishop Ntagali:

And here he is with all of the GAFCON bishops, (standing next to bishop Minns in the back row, right):

According to the last UN report:

RPF members have been recruiting sympathizers and raising funds for M23 from within Rwanda. Politicians, former Rwandan armed forces and CNDP officers told the Group that Rwigamba Balinda, a Rwandan senator and Rector of the Free University of Kigali, and John Rucyahana, a bishop (see S/2012/348/Add.1, para. 29), both RPF members, had overseen those activities in Rwanda and abroad. The same sources informed the Group that senior Rwandan armed forces officers and RPF officials diverted a portion of the financial contributions collected on behalf of M23 for their own benefit.

Also:

Politicians, former RDF officers, former CNDP officers, and M23 collaborators stated that Rwandan Minister of Defence General James Kabarebe, Rwandan Senator Rwigamba Balinda and Bishop John Rucyahana have been distributing funds for recruitment efforts. Gafishi Semikore, Ngoga, Ngabo, Kazoza, Joseph Mpumuro have received funds to recruit for M23.

Bishop Rucyahana has denied these charges, and the UN report deals with his denial:

Bishop John Rucyhana’s support to M23

77. The [Government of Rwanda] argues that Bishop John Rucyahana convened meetings for the purpose of peace and unity. This claim clearly contradicts several accounts of individuals who were present in the meetings organized by Rucyahana and, on the contrary, attest to the Bishop’s efforts to mobilize recruits and resources for M23 from within Rwanda. Furthermore, the participants in Rucyhana’s meeting were mostly former CNDP politicians and M23 members who had fled from Goma (DRC) to Gisenyi (Rwanda), from where they have been openly working to support M23. The Group is not aware of any participant who has subsequently deserted M23 following meetings with Bishop Rucyahana.

Now, I don’t imagine that the ACNA bishops had any control over who was invited to this affair. I have no idea if they were comfortable with Bishop Rucyahana being there. I certainly don’t know what was or wasn’t discussed at this gathering. But what I do know is that this looks bad. Gathering with a man who allegedly supports an armed group of thugs in a neighboring country that Rwanda wants to annex to itself, and a group that commits intrinsically evil acts, does not look good. I suggest that ACNA start thinking about what it is collectively doing when it flies around the globe to meet with foreign bishops, and does a little research about who it is meeting with and what message that sends.
As William Ames wrote, “…consent is given to sinners by counseling, defending, helping, permitting what we might hinder, and being silent when we might profitably speak, Rom. 1:32.”

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