Anglican Presence at Rwanda’s 2015 National Prayer Breakfast

One year ago, Rwandan dictator and atheist Paul Kagame attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Kigali, where he gloated in his assassination of former friend Patrick Karegeya. Karegeya had been murdered just a couple weeks prior to the prayer breakfast, and Kagame was riding high on his death. He shared a table with Anglican Archbishop Rwaje, and other Anglicans were in attendance.

rwaje dictator
Archbishop Rwaje and Kagame in 2014.

I spoke up about this at the time (see this post) and many news outlets around the world took notice since Kagame was boasting about murder to the applause of clergy. Characteristically, PEARUSA, the American branch of the Rwandan Anglican Church, was silent about its Anglican Archbishop staying mute in the face of a modern Idi Amin.

never silent
This book has no meaning in PEARUSA.

Three days ago, Kagame returned to the Prayer Breakfast and as far as we know, he did not boast about killing.

The Anglican presence at this year’s event was far less than at last year’s event, although Anglicans were not absent, as you will see. Why is this? Is it because:

  1. PEAR in Rwanda was stung by the criticism last year?
  2. They were not invited this year?
  3. PEARUSA was embarrassed at last year’s event, and expressed this to their Rwandan oversight?
  4. Rwandan Anglicans are silently protesting Kagame? This is highly unlikely but I add it here as a possibility.
  5. Something else?

If you have insight into the reasons for Rwaje’s absence, let me know.

UPDATE: No sooner did I click publish, then I looked closer at another picture (below) and saw Archbishop Rwaje, near the right of the picture:

16228558556_7eb30e9f3e_h
Rwaje at the right.

So it seems that Anglican learned nothing from last year’s debacle.

This year, Archbishop Rwaje was replaced by Bishop Enoch Dusingizimana of the Community of Christian Churches in Africa (C.C.C.A). There was still an Anglican at the dictator’s table however, none other than the notorious Antoine Rutayisire.

16068621797_dc847a8919_o
Bishop Enoch Dusingizimana with Kagame and Rutayisire.

Antoine Rutayisire – Kagame’s Anglican

Pastor Rutayisire has been a shill for Kagame for many years, defending him at every turn, in contradiction to all Christian theology. The Bible says, “It is an abomination to kings to do evil,” (Proverbs 16:12) and yet Christians stand inert before Kagame, dumb and deaf, saying nothing of his wickedness.

Rutayisire_2015
Rutayisire at the 2015 Prayer Breakfast.

Rutayisire has made outlandish statements in favor of this modern day Pharaoh. In the past, he said of Kagame:

“He is not authoritarian to the level I would wish. When you’re ruling a country that’s coming out of chaos … you don’t go for democracy, you go for autocracy.”

This year, he moved from saying that Rwanda is an autocracy to saying it is a theocracy! According to Jean Paul Ibambe on Twitter, Rutayisire said Rwanda is a theocracy, “which is better than democracy [which is] full of noise.” If Rwanda is a theocracy, is Rutayisire implying that Kagame is God’s anointed? What does this say to those whom he has tortured and murdered?

rut

Is Rutayisire a renegade Anglican, outside the normal circles of the Church? Far from it. Here are some pictures of him just recently with Archbishop Rwaje and Bishop Muvunyi, and again, teaching in Musanze to Bishop Mbanda’s clergy:

rut rwaje muv
Bishop Muvunyi, Pastor Rutayisire, Archbishop Rwaje
rut rwaje
Rutayisire teaching Anglicans in Musanze

What does it say of the Anglican Church of Rwanda that a man at its heart is attached at the hip to a dictator? It is consistent with the actions of Rucyahana, Kolini, Rwaje, Mbanda, Gasatura, Ahimana and others. It is the action of a compromised man within a compromised church, embracing a dictator instead of rebuking him.

Not only does Rutayisire have an audience in Rwanda, he has one in the United States. Last summer, he spoke at Washington D.C Anglican parishes The Church of the Resurrection and the Church of the Advent. He is the President of the As We Forgive Rwanda Initiative, where he shares leadership with many Americans. This is shameful.

16067097550_17980328d0_o
Rutayisire with the First Lady.

In the excerpts of Kagame’s speech available to us this year, he refers to Rutayisire, and says:

Even though I said that I am not a pastor like Rutayisire, I actually love many teachings from the Bible. The teachings of life. History; how it happened, its consequences, its goodness, we find it all in the Bible.

If Kagame is reading his Bible, that is a good thing. He can perhaps open to Psalm 52, and read:

Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
Your tongue plots destruction,
like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah
You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.
But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
The righteous shall see and fear,
and shall laugh at him, saying,
“See the man who would not make
God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches
and sought refuge in his own destruction!”

Analyzing the appointments of Archbishop Beach

IMG_0233

A couple months ago, the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) made some appointments to assist him in governing the Province. While I don’t see anything about Deans in the Canons of ACNA, they do say:

Section 5 – Concerning Officers of the Church

The Archbishop shall be the Presiding Officer of the Church, and the Presiding Officer of the Council. The Council shall appoint a Deputy Chair, a chancellor, a secretary, a treasurer, a registrar, and such other officers of the Church as it deems necessary. The Council shall define the duties of each officer of the Church.

Archbishop Beach appointed seven people to six roles; they are:

  • Bishop Ray Sutton as Dean of College Affairs and Dean of Ecumenical Affairs.
  • Bishop Terrell Glenn as Dean of College Affairs.
  • Bishop John Guernsey as Dean of Provincial Affairs
  • Bishop Bill Atwood as Dean of International Affairs
  • Bishop Don Harvey as Senior College Chaplain, assisted by Bishops Bena and Ackerman.

As noted in this post, Bishop Sutton came close to a victory in the Conclave before he voluntarily stepped aside. Bishop Guernsey was also thought to be a frontrunner for the job of Archbishop heading into the Conclave.With that in mind, these appointments look a bit like consolation prizes for these men. I am not asserting that they are, but it is a very status quo set of appointments.

The affiliation of these men and their position on women’s ordination are:

BishopAffiliationPosition on WO
AckermanACNA, FiFNAAgainst
SuttonRECAgainst
GlennACNAAgainst
GuernseyACNAFor
AtwoodACNAFor
HarveyANiCFor
BenaCANAFor

This group also skews Anglo-Catholic or charismatic, with only one Bishop being notably Augustinian in conviction (as far as I know). I don’t know how much to invest in these observations, but the convictions of these men may show up in policy in the years ahead. It also signals that as much as we thought the election of Archbishop Beach signaled the arrival of a new generation of leadership, there are a lot of holdovers from the last two decades still in power. This is neither good nor bad of necessity, but is simply the reality.

Leah Karegeya on Rwandan Anglicans

The widow of Patrick Karegeya is Leah Karegeya. She just gave an interview where she exhibits the grace of the Gospel in how she treats her husband’s executioner, Paul Kagame, and his henchmen in Rwanda. The interview is located here. She calls out Rwandan Anglican Antoine Rutayisire for his friendship with a wicked tyrant:

JF: Tell me about Paul Kagame. How would you describe him today versus the man you knew years ago?

LK: I personally have no words to describe Kagame but I think he said it all himself when he told a journalist, “God made him in a strange way.”  How do you define someone who has stolen your property, revoked your citizenship, fabricated  lies and crimes about you and as if that is not enough, murders your husband? There is no human description I have for Kagame but this is what I know and believe; God did not create anyone to kill, to steal and or destroy his people. There is a scripture in the bible that gives me an idea of who he may be, but wise and Godly people should debate to know who he is exactly.

The scripture is John 10:10, which says, “The thief comes to lie, to kill, to steal and to destroy,” referring to the devil.  Kagame perfectly practices these three elements, which qualifies him to be either a devil or someone acting directly on his behalf. His wise friends Rick Warren and Antoineshould tell us better because clearly they should know the difference between good and bad.

Antoine Rutayisire and his Dictator

Antoine Rutayisire and his Dictator

She also exhibits a great deal of mercy for the Anglicans who applauded the maniacal Kagame this January, when he boasted of killing her husband:

JF: President Kagame also made some vicious remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast regarding the death of Patrick. How would you respond to Kagame in regards to these remarks?

LK: The speech was awful, disgusting and embarrassing to those that still have human hearts. It has to be indeed a strange human being to murder another human being and at the same time be proud of it.  Moreover, standing on holy ground, where people are gathered to worship their creator and make such evil remarks.

How can one preach about killing in a place of worship? Kagame is not God; he does not get to go on determining who should live and who should die. To me, this is far from human sanity. Besides, it is one thing to sin but entirely a different thing to be proud of it and expose it yourself before the entire world!  It is human nature to hide one’s sins but it is sociopathic to boast about ones sins in a prayer breakfast. I believe, like the blood of Abel in the bible that haunted his murderous brother Cain, so is the blood of my husband to Kagame. This I believe is what triggered him into confession and surely, it still does considering what he has done since the death of my husband.

I simply sympathize with the listeners that day who were forced to clap their hands for such remarks and I wonder if he believes he received genuine praise or a mere wish to have another day to live.

Finally, she is asked about forgiving the murderer, Paul Kagame:

JF: You are a woman of faith and God commands those to forgive others as He has forgiven us. Do you think you will ever be able to forgive President Kagame?

LK: Yes, I can because the scripture demands me to do it and clearly If I do not I will keep myself in captivity.  Another reason is that when I think deeply I realize that Kagame did not know what he was doing, as Jesus said.  Kagame believed that killing my husband would deliver some peace and consolidation of his power, he lied to himself.  What I know is that my husband is at peace where he is while Kagame is more at war with himself and many others as never before. I guess it is worse to fight with the dead considering what he is doing today to those who are so called “loyal” to him. That makes me consider again leaving the matter to the Lord.

Having said that, I cannot lie to you and say that it is easy, more especially because the death of my husband remains fresh in us as if it happened yesterday and Kagame is a constant reminder which keeps it fresh in our minds.  The bible states clearly that what is impossible to man is possible with God, this includes forgiveness. It will take time and it will be a long process but where there is a will there is always away and i know that it is in the will of God that I forgive.

Body Bags Found In Lake Are From Rwanda

This year, as in years past, Rwandans are disappearing inside the country. They simply vanish, never to be seen again. As I mentioned in this post, people are forced into cars and then are gone. Imagine the anguish of their families, who can say nothing in the Police State.1

Recently, body bags started turning up on a lake that borders Rwanda and Burundi, see here. Now, we have confirmation that the body bags originated in Rwanda. It is not too much of a stretch to imagine that they contain the disappeared from Rwanda, whose families will never be able to investigate this heinous evil because to do so would mean the end of their lives as well. A crude Google translation of this story shows the palpable fear on the Rwandan side of the border:

Rwandan fishermen were more reserved: they recognized that it is the Kagera who was carrying the body but when asked where is this river and many answers become a little elusive. They stammer unclear answers and do not hide that they are afraid.

The fears of farmers and fishermen Rwandan side

RFI went up the Kagera River and several canoes approached the Rwandan side. We headed to a dozen straw huts planted among fields of beans and sweet potatoes.

Suddenly we see people rushing into their huts and others running away. The guide is amazed and says these Rwandans are usually very welcoming. He then shows us two men who are likely to speak to us.

After ten minutes spent persuade them, they end up admitting that the Rwandan authorities have passed the previous day, ie Friday. They would have forbidden to speak to Burundian journalists. We promise not to disclose their names. So they begin to explain what they saw.

“I saw and spend twenty bags”

The youngest, aged 20-25 years, says that he saw the first bodies down the course of Kagera in mid-July. ”  Initially, we saw many bags packed, we did not dare touch it , he said. Someone here has said that this could be a product that would sell. This catch one. When he opened the bag, it was the horror, there was a corpse inside. We closed the bag and discarded the body in the stream. O n did not want trouble with the authorities ” , he assures, explaining as he saw and spend twenty bag alone. 

The second man said that it showed that it was the work of a specialist. These bodies were, he said, a hood over his head. They legs folded, attached so that the thighs touched bust. The arms were also tied behind the back and the same rope was wrapped around her neck.

Finally the other inhabitants of this locality Rwanda joined us. Scared, they recognized that these bodies came from off the inside of Rwanda. But ”  we do not know what is happening  “, they all assured.

Will PEAR USA say anything about this? Will Anglicans in Rwanda dare to question what is going on?

Hirohito’s Religion

David Bergamini writes:

The dream of the ancestors to rule theocratically and keep Japan sacred for the sun goddess remained unfulfilled. Hirohito had reservations about the dream. It was too insular, too mystical and unscientific. Because of his training in geography and economics, Hirohito could not think of Japan in isolation but only as a part – the leading part – of Asia. Because of his scientific training he could not accept the legend of the sun goddess at face value. He was a devout Shinto priest and believed in the ghosts of his ancestors, but not in a simple superstitious way like most of his countrymen. He would eventually rationalize his creed by grafting onto it the semi-scientific spiritualism of such Western thinkers as the astrophysicist Sir James Jeans and the physiologist J.S. Haldane. Hirohito believed that the spirits were always present and even available for consultation, but only as psychic wave forms permeating the ether. He doubted that they could provide physical assistance to men in battle, as many Japanese believed.

Atrocities in Rwanda, 2014

The Kagame regime began this year by assassinating Patrick Karegeya in South Africa. It moved on to “disappearing” citizens all over the nation, and then there were strange fires that burned down prisons. Now there are arrests of leading regime generals and other figures as the totalitarian regime eats its own, and there are also bodies turning up on a lake in Burundi. This story, translated from French, says:

In recent days corpses wrapped in plastic bags are found floating on the lake Rweru on the border between Burundi and Rwanda in the province Muyinga.

More than 40 bodies floating in the lake town Rweru Giteranyi were seen and counted from the month of July by the fishermen, as confirmed by the local administration and police. This week, these fishermen accompanied by a unit of the Navy, saw two bodies on the mouth of the Kagera. It was a woman without clothes and a man wrapped in a bag. One of the dead was identified by Rwandan fishermen, they immediately rushed to repatriate the dead body.

The report goes on to says that Burundi had not reported any disappeared, and that Burundians:

…indicate that such carcasses are thrown into the river Akagara the Rwandan side, that comes pouring into the lake Rweru: “In the neighborhood, we deplore any loss, unless they are brought from other regions and thrown in the lake, “they say.

The lake in question borders Rwanda and Burundi, as you can see from this map:

Lake Rugwero
Lake Rugwero with Rwanda on the North

An updated report says:

The case made headlines Burundian newspapers for two days: the fishermen said they saw dozens of bodies floating on the Rweru Lake in northeastern Burundi, on the border with Rwanda. They are bodies of men, women and youth, some tied up.

Fishermen Lake Rweru say they would have seen since early July between six and forty bodies floating in the waters of the lake, located in the northeastern Burundi. Several private radio stations in Bujumbura, the alarm was given it a week ago.

Contacted by RFI yesterday, Sunday, the representative of the fishermen of the town Giteranyi shoreline of the lake, said he went near the mouth of the Kagera River with soldiers from the Burundian Navy. They then discovered there two bodies, one still wrapped in a big burlap bag. ” We unfortunately could not bring them back to the mainland because the bodies were in an advanced state of decomposition , “said the representative of the fishermen. They then drifted the body along with the current like other fishermen did with the body they discovered earlier.

… Fishermen are, claim that these bodies would be carried by the Kagera River which originates in neighboring Rwanda. Prudente, the Burundian government would not confirm or deny.

There have been widespread disappearances, such as this:

Rwandan opposition politician Damascene Munyeshyaka, who went missing on June 27, is just one in a growing list of people who have not been heard of over the past few months and who rights activists believe have been forcibly disappeared.

Munyeshyaka, the organisational secretary of the Democratic Green Party, was at a meeting in the eastern district of Bugesera, when he received a phone call.

The caller said he had an urgent message to deliver, according to the party. Munyeshyaka didn’t know the caller but left to meet him. He has not been seen since.

And there are mass arrests of high ranking regime members, in moves reminiscent of purges after the French Revolution. See hereherehere, and here.

Finally, look at this appalling picture from inside a Rwandan prison:

Gitarama Prison

Prisoners tortured in Rwandan prisons.

This article, whose truth I cannot verify,1 says:

To understand how furious and systematic Hutus extermination is, Tutsis RPF regime has nowadays chosen a plan to blaze prisons and more than thirty thousand (30,000) Hutus perished in this process of prisons blaze where they were abducting prisoners to massacre in name of transfers to other prisons so that other fellow prisoners cannot question what happening and try to claim. The recent prisons set on fire are two prisons of Muhanga central prison in Gitarama and Nyakiriba prison in Rubavu (Gisenyi) respectively on 5 June 2014 and 7 July 2014, i e within one month. This happened following 1 or 2 months more than sixteen thousand (16,000) Hutus massacred in Northern West province in Nyabihu district and the RPF regime said they don’t know their whereabouts, and simply said that they disappeared.

The above picture is Muhanga prison in Gitarama set on fire on 5 June 2014 and this happen alongside the slow systematic massacres of these Hutus prisoners where they are daily beaten, killed abducted, starved and poisoned. More than 80% of Hutus who terminated their sentence when they come out for normal life, consequently they cannot pass 1 or 2 years alive, they die.2

Conditions in the open-air prison that is Rwanda are horrible,  and yet we continue to only see the sanitized, mission-trip version of reality in PEAR USA publications. Speaking of another appalling situation, that of Christians in Iraq, PEAR Bishop Breedlove says:

The silence of the US and Canadian media and government is unconscionable, and we need to call them to account and ask for a change of behavior. “Never Silent” is part of our story. We need to bring that legacy to this critical issue happening right now. We must never be silent while Christians are slaughtered for nothing more than being Christians.

He is right for once, and yet the hypocrisy is more than a little thick given the outrages in Rwanda that have been happening for two decades now, with the increasing complicity of Westerners, who choose to see no evil and hear no evil.

rwaje dictator

Archbishop Rwaje and Paul Kagame
  1. See this story for confirmation. 
  2. The 30,000 number comes from stories like this:Kigali — Some 30.000 Rwandans sentenced to community service for their role in the 1994 genocide have disappeared, according to the Rwandan prison authorities. Community service was introduced under a Rwandan law as an alternative to prison for certain categories of genocide perpetrator who confessed. One of the goals was to reduce overcrowding in the country’s jails.The semi-traditional village courts or gacaca (pronounced gatchatcha) that tried most genocide suspects had, by the time they closed in June 2012, sentenced 84,896 people to community service, according to the authorities.A report by the Rwandan prison service says only 53,366 of these turned up in the camps where they were to serve their alternative sentence. The prison service says it does not know where they are. “This is a matter of great concern for us,” prison service director Paul Rwarakabije told Hirondelle.“It is extremely worrying for the survivors,” says Naphtal Ahishakiye, secretary general of the main survivors’organization Ibuka.According to the same report, out of the 53,366 who presented themselves for community service, 46,270 have served their sentence, 1,996 escaped during community service and 340 have died natural deaths.During community service, convicts help with public works such as building roads, bridges, public schools, orphanages and houses for the elderly. 

Posted on August 19, 2014 Rwanda Purpose-Driven Fallacies: Rick Warren on Rwanda’s Critics

When I wrote the last post about Pastor Rick Warren and Rwanda, I naively hoped that he was unaware of the criticism of the Kagame regime. That was not the case, as he proved in an interview with Rwandan propaganda website The New Times. In this interview, Warren is asked about international criticism. To boil his argument down for you, you are not allowed to criticize Rwanda if you are:

  1. Hutu (he refers to ‘genocidaires’, but how does he distinguish between innocent Hutu and those who actually killed?)
  2. French
  3. From certain countries like France
  4. The United Nations
  5. Someone who at some point worked in the Kagame government

If you are not in one of these categories, feel free to criticize the Rwandan Government, and I am sure Rick Warren will pay heed to you.

His response is so shockingly ignorant that I almost wonder if he uttered it or if it was placed into his mouth by New Times Goebbels-type hacks? If he did say this, then he is totally in lockstep with an Ahab/Herod figure, and should have no credibility anymore. Warren is committing the most basic ad hominem fallacy in his ‘reasoning’. Everything he says may be ignored because it does not deal with even one fact related to the heinous rule of Paul Kagame. The entirety of his answer follows:

Often times Rwanda receives the flacks from various international bodies and individuals, what do you make of such critics?

The criticisms against Rwanda are coming from four sources. They are all biased sources. The first group of critics is the genocidaires who are still alive, the Interahawe. They are in various places around the world and will do anything they can to depose the government. It is expected that they will criticise and speak ill of the country.

The second group is of certain countries like France that supported and protected the wrong group during the Genocide. They allowed the genocidaires to escape through and into DR Congo.

There was a break down in relations with France as Rwanda chose a path of its own that some people in France were not very happy with and hence the criticism.

The third group is the United Nations; they have blood on their hands, they did nothing when they could have stopped the Genocide. The UN has a guilty conscience. There is conflict on why is the nation least dependent on the United Nations is among the most successful. So their reports may be biased.

The last group is people who served in this government in the past and got caught in corruption and other vices. They were friends of Rwanda, but when they lost their jobs, they became bitter and go around writing articles full of criticisms.

All these four groups are biased and are in no position to provide balanced opinion about the country.

"Nice work Rick!"
“Nice work Rick!”

Posted on August 15, 2014 Anglican, Rwanda Rick Warren, Antoine Rutayisire and Paul Kagame

Pastor Rick Warren has continued his foolish association with Rwanda’s dictator, Paul Kagame this week.

Rick Warren and Paul Kagame

Rick Warren and Paul Kagame

Think of this New York Times story when you see Kagame:

David Himbara, another former Kagame confidant who also fled to Johannesburg in 2010, told me a story about Kagame’s rage. In 2009, Himbara said, Kagame ordered two subordinates — a finance director and an army captain — into his presidential office, slammed the door and started shouting at them about where they had purchased office curtains. Kagame then picked up the phone, and two guards came in with sticks, Himbara said. Kagame ordered the men to lie face down, and he thrashed them. After five minutes, Kagame seemed to tire, and the bodyguards took over beating the men, as if they had done this before. Himbara said he was sick to his stomach witnessing the scene.

Just about every former colleague of Kagame’s I spoke to shared some sort of beating story. Noble Marara, a former driver for Kagame, told me that Kagame whipped him twice, once for driving the wrong truck and another time after someone else backed into a pole. “He really needs help,” said Marara, now in exile in England. “If I was to diagnose him, I’d say he has a personality disorder.”

14714815797_4a28631547_o

Antoine Rutayisire at Kagame’s Table

Again, from the New York Times:

When I asked Kagame about the beatings, he leaned toward me in his seat. We were about three feet apart, then two. I could see the individual gray hairs in his goatee. He didn’t interrupt as I detailed my evidence, with names and dates. He didn’t deny physically abusing his staff, as I thought he might, though he gave me a watered-down version of the 2009 event that Himbara described, saying that he hadn’t swatted anyone with a stick but shoved one of the men so hard that he fell to the floor.

“It’s my nature,” Kagame said. “I can be very tough, I can make mistakes like that.” But when I pressed him on other violent outbursts, he responded irritably, “Do we really need to go into every name, every incident?” He said that hitting people is not “sustainable,” which struck me as a strange word to use, as if the only issue with beating your underlings was whether such behavior was effective over the long term.

Joining Warren and Kagame was Anglican Antoine Rutayisire, who left some testy comments on my blog a few months ago. Rutayisire is frequently in Kagame’s company:

quote 1

A Quote from Rutayisire

This association with Kagame did not stop my former parish, Church of the Resurrection in Washington D.C., from hosting Rutayisire this year, something they should be ashamed of.

14898297181_5843a65954_o

Sitting at the Table of the Tyrant

I guess Rick Warren doesn’t put much stock in reports like this from Rwanda:

quote 2

And really, why should he? There seem to be no consequences for embracing evil, at least in the short term.

14901367055_99ceab6ddb_o

What will we think of this picture in 20 years?

Fortunately, the short term doesn’t last forever. The truth wins out, even if it takes a long time.

Lord, please open Rick Warren’s eyes. Amen.

Breedlove Reemphasizes that PEAR USA is Deeply Joined to Rwanda

Bishops Breedlove and Rwaje, Archbishop Rwaje and Paul Kagame

In a message about the election of Archbishop Beach and PEAR USA‘s relationship with Rwanda, Bishop Steve Breedlove re-emphasized the close relationship with Rwanda as one of the main reasons for PEAR USA’s existence. He writes:

Many ACNA jurisdictions and leaders have been shaped by global partners, from whom we all learn. But no one else has the sustained, personal “life together” that God has given us with the Church of Rwanda.1 As missionary networks of Rwanda, deeply joined in Gospel partnership with parishes and dioceses in Rwanda, we understand what it means to be shaped by the global Christian community.

Note the claims to being “shaped” by the Rwandan Church, a Church that says nothing in the face of the evil of a one Party State, a State that sanctions things such as this {Warning: graphic}! When you are celebrating Eucharist with Archbishop Rwaje, who is in turn appearing with a tyrant all in smiles, there is an issue.

Breedlove was the mentor to my former parish priest, who is now a Presbyterian, and was called in to resolve relational conflicts between the RenewDC pastors. His own son interviewed for the job of assistant pastor at our parish, and Bishop Breedlove worked with my pastor, his mentee, to use church discipline against me after I refused to take down this post, which pointed out the factual United Nations evidence about the nefarious activity of John Rucyahana, and suggested that ACNA think about appearing with Rucyahana in public.

This effort at censorship occurred when, “On one or more occasion, a few ACNA bishops casually brought up the fact of the blogs you were writing to [Breedlove] orally.”  At the time I was unaware of the mentor relationship that he sustained with my pastor, but in retrospect, it makes the entire process even more flawed, because there can be no expectation of impartiality when my pastor’s mentor, who initiated action against me, was also to be the party I appealed to! “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.” Indeed.

pear

Breedlove has a close relationship with Rwandan clergy, and as I have pointed out before, in a meeting with me and his mentee, my pastor, he essentially blew off all evidence of torture, killing and totalitarianism in Rwanda, saying that he was comfortable moving forward with Rwanda. At that time I asked the Bishop if the Rwandans showed any degree of self critique or criticism for their government and he could not come up with an example or answer of self criticism.

Back when I was getting excited about the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), PEAR USA’s precursor, we were told to be “never silent.” Times have changed. As Ephraim Radner said, “Concerns about the character of our various churches’ attachments to players in the eastern Congo tragedy are generally suppressed through a desire to maintain ecclesial alliances;  or, conversely, when such concerns are raised, they are dismissed and assigned to the motives of ecclesial politics.”

never silent

Bishop Ruch Describes Tension and Unity at ACNA Conclave

Bishop R

Bishop Stewart Ruch

In a new video to his Diocese, Bishop Stewart Ruch describes his excitement at the bonding experienced last week in the ACNA Conclave:

Brothers and Sisters of the Upper Midwest, I want to give you a brief report on what I just experienced at our Provincial Assembly and Convocation over the course of the last two weeks. When we gathered as bishops to make the election of our new Archbishop, we made a pledge to each other the we would be confidential about all that occurred in what we called the Conclave, this time for electing a new Archbishop. I’m glad we made that pledge, it was important to keep secrecy, but it’s also killing me because I am dying to tell you the story of what happened in those three days as we gather at the Arch Abbey of St. Vincent in Latrobe Pennsylvania.

It is truly one of the great stories of the last 25 years of the new work God is doing in North American Anglicanism and in American Anglicanism. Suffice to say, what occurred in that time was real conversation, real tensions real joys, deep prayer, times of spontaneous worship, sharing our hearts one with another. Every one of the 51 bishops who are active and able to make the election for a new Archbishop shared about their heart, their passion for the next five years of the Anglican Church in North America; we truly bonded as a college, we went from being a group of men with different concerns representing different constituencies to a collegial band of apostolic leaders who are called to do the work the Gospel in our generation. By the end of that time it became unanimously clear that God had selected Bishop, now Archbishop Foley Beach to lead us for the next five years in his five-year term as a leader.

I have great confidence in Archbishop Foley. I’ve had a chance to build a personal friendship with him and prayer relationship with him over the last year, and so I know his evangelical heart, I know that he’s a deep churchman that loves Mother Church. He’s a man who moves and works and lives in the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit. But while I have confidence in Archbishop Foley, I have a greater confidence in the way in which he was chosen, which is truly an unmanaged, carefully allowed freeing spiritual process in which we heard, I believe, from the Holy Spirit, who is the man to lead the Anglican Church of North America.

This conference, this Conclave was the most important moment for us in the ACNA, even more important than our founding five years ago in Bedford Texas in 2009, because it was a precarious moment where one generation of leaders, if you will the Moses generation, handed off to the next generation of leaders, Foley Beach has been called our Joshua generation leader. Succession is always a vulnerable time in the life of an organization and a time for incredible opportunity and growth. We in the ACNA by God’s grace have captured this moment as a positive, profound moment, to continue to grow. Succession has occurred, and it’s occurred with great blessing from Archbishop Duncan into the hands of Archbishop Foley.

CANA

When I walked out, a day after the election to the Basilica which is the main worship space, and building at the Arch Abbey, to my amazement, I saw the most beautiful, richly colored, expansive rainbow I have ever seen. It literally stretched from one side of the mountain ridge the surrounds Latrobe Pennsylvania to the side over the Basilica. When I looked twice, I saw that actually there was a double rainbow underneath, so that there were two rainbows there. I think that was a supernatural gift from God shown to us there for all of us in the Anglican Church of North America to remind us of God’s promise the the days of difficulty and destruction have in so many ways passed as God proved after the Flood, and that days of promise are ahead. There will be challenging days for us in the ACNA, we will do the hard work of the Gospel in which our main purpose is to reach the lost and love and ennoble the poor, but we will do it in the presence and the power of God.

Rainbow

In my 20-plus years of being a part of American Anglicanism, I have never been so encouraged I just had to send you this video, to share with you this encouragement.