News from Rwanda follows:
A Press Release from The East Africa Revival Network
ANGLICAN BISHOP A. BILINDABAGABO ELECTED AS
PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF PROTESTANT CHURCHES OF RWANDA
Dec. 26, 2011
This month Bishop Alexis Bilindabagabo was elected to succeed Dr. Onesphore Rwaje (Archbishop of PEAR) as President of The Council of Protestant Churches of Rwanda (CPR – French Acronym).
The Council of Protestant Churches of Rwanda is a fellowship of 23 Protestant Churches and Christian Organizations. The CPR was created in November 1962 to create a forum promoting unity and cooperation among the Protestant Churches of Rwanda. The CPR has worked tirelessly to promote healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation among all Rwandan following the genocide of 1994. The CPR is noted and respected by both Church and Government leaders for its transparency, unity, and harmonious operations and for promoting the same across all denominations and Christian organizations.
Among the Members Churches and Organizations of the CPR are:
The Presbyterian Church of Rwanda
PEAR – Province Episcopal Au Rwanda
The Association of Baptist Churches of Rwanda
The Lutheran Church of Rwanda
The Nazarene Church of Rwanda
The Brethren Church of Rwanda
The Free Methodist Church of Rwanda
Association of Pentecostal Churches of Rwanda (ADEPR)
African Evangelistic Enterprise
African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM)
The Seventh Day Adventist Church of Rwanda
Youth for Christ Rwanda
The CPR provides a forum for resolving conflicts and misunderstandings in and among churches, promotes and provided initiatives for many social development programs, provides leadership and resources for trauma counseling and other ministries to help the country recover and reconcile from the genocide. The nation of Rwanda is grateful for all of the help and support she has received from nations, organizations, and agencies around the world. However, the goal of President Kagame and the Rwandan people is to be a nation that eventually needs no assistance, but, rather provides help and assistance to others. The CPR has a strong emphasis in guiding the Protestant Churches in Rwanda towards financial autonomy and sustainability.
Bishop Alexis is well suited to continue to help toward these goals as he follows Abp. Rwaje in this leadership role. Bishop Alexis is a genocide survivor who served the church in Rwanda during that sad period. He saw and experienced firsthand the sorrow and tragedy visited upon many lives firsthand. Immediately following the cessation of hostilities the Bishop was involved in forming the Barakabaho Foundation. For more than sixteen years that organization has provided sustenance, education, and other kinds of care for thousands of children orphaned by the war. Barakabaho means, “let them live”.
Bishop Alexis is a man who cares for his nation and for people. This concern, taken to God in prayer, often results in visionary initiatives. Two years before the genocide Bishop Alexis and his wife Dr. Grace started an organization called The Christian Movement for Evangelization, Counseling, and Reconciliation. This NGO continues its valuable contribution to Rwandan society up to this day. Through MOUCECOR (French acronym) trauma counseling, practical care for widows, vocational training, and other programs and resources, coordinated with international organizations, provide help for thousands of persons at risk.
In response to the aggressive Islamization of the African continent Bishop Alexis, together with other Christian leaders, has helped to launch two initiatives (APRID and the East Africa Revival Network) to reach out to Muslims and to equip the Church in East Africa to increase its understanding of the situation and to respond in evangelism, discipleship, and church planting in regions at risk.
Bishop Alexis assists Archbishop Rwaje as the Dean of the Province Episcopal au Rwanda (PEAR). This position is conferred upon the longest serving bishop in the Rwandan House of Bishops.
The Bishop’s past experience should equip him to do well as President a diverse group of Churches and leaders like CPR. Bishop Alexis has been the Bishop of Gahini Diocese in the far east of Rwanda since the genocide. The new diocese was formed in this war-ravaged area under his leadership. His national and regional work and involvements have not detracted from his intense interest in providing pastoral care, leadership training, evangelism, church planting, and the development of social and agricultural projects in his own diocese. Under his leadership the formation of the newly created diocese has grown to several hundred churches that are sending missionaries into neighboring Tanzania.