Bishop Ruch Describes Tension and Unity at ACNA Conclave

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.

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.

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.

Archbishop Beach and the Charismatic Gifts

People have wondered where Archbishop Beach stands on charismatic gifts in the Church. The following email indicates that he believes in the continuation of the charismatic gifts, as it seems that he quoted from a “word of knowledge” to his church in 2005.

From: Parish Administrator

Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:49 AM
To: Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Subject: Holy Cross Pastoral Enote
Please send to the parish.
I have had so many requests for the word of knowledge I read at the end of the sermon on Sunday, I am sending it to the whole congregation. It is posted below and came to Fr. Jim Murphy, an Anglican priest in Florida.

“The word of the Lord came to me saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘You mourn and wail and pray for the victims of disaster— you do well in this regard. Those storm battered victims whom I love, whom I came to save, suffer great poverty. They have lost much treasure, much of what their trust was placed in. They have lost many things from which they drew comfort. Yet, declares the Lord, ‘none of their losses were anchored in eternity—their sorrow is for created things, not the Creator. O how I long for them to have trusted in me, to have drawn comfort from me, but they would not.’”
“Thus says the One through whom all things were made and for whom all things exist, even the Son of Man, ‘Be not conceited of heart, you people called by my name, for your poverty is as deep as those who despair from disaster. Your trust in me is conditional. Your comfort comes from things that are passing away. Repent! Repent, O my people. Your sins and treasures weigh you down and you waste away because of them. Turn! Turn from your evil ways and live.’”
“Thus says the God of all comfort, ‘No one is saved by the riches and might of this world. Truly, despite great strength, nothing in all creation is able to save. For you to trust in things of the created order is but vanity. Truly, you invite disaster as you draw comfort from the illusory heritage of this world. O how I long to have you trust fully in me, to experience true comfort from my very Spirit. If you will but store up for yourselves treasures that are anchored in eternity, declares the Christ, then the glory of the Father will shine like the noonday sun, to give hope for despair.’”

Spoken through Jim Murphy to the churches in Christ Jesus, Friday morning, September 2nd, 2005.

What Does Archbishop Beach’s Election Mean for ACNA?

Newly elected Archbishop Beach. ACNA photograph.
Newly elected Archbishop Beach. ACNA photograph.

What does the election of Bishop Foley Beach mean for ACNA? I have a few guesses and thoughts, all of which may look foolish when his term expires in 2024, but which I am recording nonetheless.

1. The first-generation era of the Realignment is over. Leaders such as Bishop Minns, Chuck Murphy, John Guernsey and Archbishop Duncan will no longer lead ACNA or the sub-jurisdictions. This is a good thing. While they achieved a great deal, it is time for a new wave of leaders with ACNA. I date the beginning of the realignment from the First Promise / AMiA consecrations and the end (or the end of the beginning) to the collapse of AMiA, the election of Bishop Dobbs in CANA and now Bishop Beach for ACNA.

2. Picking Bishop Beach should unite the tribes, at least to a degree. Bishop Beach appears to be a middle of the road, generic evangelical, and that’s just fine. He is against the ordination of women to the ministry, which satisfies both Reformed Anglicans and Anglo Catholics. He preaches a very Biblical salvation message, which should satisfy all of us, but particularly those who may have supported a Guernsey candidacy. His election should put at ease those who may have wondered what direction ACNA was heading had Bishop Guernsey won.

3. There will be a continued growth narrative for ACNA because the Diocese of South Carolina will join up once the dust settles. If this happens, ACNA’s numbers will jump quite a bit, although they are starting from a small base. We have to realize that in the world of Southern Baptists, the Assembly of God, and many other denominations, ACNA is a small fish in a big pond. Even the PCA had 335,000 members as of 14 years ago. So Anglican 1000 is good and necessary, but the ACNA growth story is a bit illusory right now.

4. His election makes the end of affinity dioceses more likely. Unless there are obvious theological reasons, there is really no reason for CANA and PEAR USA to continue to exist. The feeling I had listening to Bishop Dobbs preach at PEAR USA’s “Moving Forward Together” Assembly in 2012 was that things were still so muddled and ACNA’s theology so unclear, that we should maintain these African-run organizations. I don’t think that is the case anymore, and that is due to Archbishop-elect Beach. The centrist, big-tent version of ACNA is being cemented into place with the possible ten-year term of Archbishop Beach. We don’t need PEAR USA and CANA as lifeboats. I think we will see PEAR USA wrap up operation in his first five years and I hope CANA does the same.

5. Along the same lines, with the completion of a Prayer Book on the horizon, and the Catechism in place, what ACNA stands for in broad terms is now apparent. I will write more about this at another time, but my point is that the identity of ACNA is now stabilizing, and is not totally up for grabs in the way it might have been had we seen a strong Anglo-Catholic elected, or another pro-WO bishop. There should be progress on WO under Archbishop Beach, but I don’t think it will be totally rolled back.

6. Archbishop Beach gets social media, at least to an extent not seen to date by other leading bishops. He has a blog, he has a Twitter account, he is not allergic to the year 2014. Hopefully this means that the disturbing tendency of some in ACNA to want to rein in speech on the internet or try to control the message will fade out.

7. GAFCON will continue, but what does it really mean? I don’t see much evidence that GAFCON enforces the Jerusalem Declaration or the Nairobi Communique. There seems to be no GAFCON disciplinary apparatus at all, which means that it is just another voluntary grouping, which will work as long as the member churches want it to, and no longer. Without launching an exhaustive survey, I believe that the Jerusalem Declaration (JD) was a good deal more Reformed in outlook than what ACNA looks to be. ACNA wrote the JD into its founding documents, but is there any enforcement mechanism of these standards at all?

I expect Archbishop Beach to continue with GAFCON and praise it, but I don’t know what that means practically for ACNA. I hope he educates himself on the problems inherent with member nations like Uganda and Rwanda, where churches are tightly aligned with dictators (see Ephraim Radner’s recent First Things article). I hope he lives up to what the Nairobi Communique said about violence against people, not just in the case of Western abortion, but also with nations like Rwanda, where our State Department is more prophetic than PEAR USA has ever been about disappearing citizens and support for rebellions in neighboring nations. This Church-State alliance threatens to make GAFCON a body that cares about some ethical standards while completely ignoring other, possibly weightier matters. Realistically, I don’t think Bishop Beach will say much about this, but I hope so.

Finally, while there are challenges ahead of him, I don’t think they are as great as those faced by Archbishop Duncan. I think things are settling down and the version of ACNA that exists in 2019 or 2024 will be far more stable than it is even today.

Who is Archbishop-elect Foley Beach?

Bishop Beach at his Consecration

I hope to add links to any information I can find. For now:

In 2004, Bishop Beach wrote about why he was leaving the Episcopal Church:

I am forty-five years old and for thirty-four of those years I have been an active participant in the Episcopal Church. I was baptized, confirmed, married, ordained a deacon, and ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. It has served to shape and form me spiritually and it has taught me tremendous aspects about worshiping Almighty God.

The Church has been a place of stability and refuge, although it has always been in need of reform. But recent actions of the Episcopal Church have taken spiritual depravity to new depth for the modern era.

The Church which taught me the Gospel has now adopted a new Gospel which reduces Jesus to nothing more than one option among many. The Church which introduced me to the Word of God has now rewritten the Word of God to placate cultural and political pressures put upon it by intellectual extremists.

The Church which taught me to confess and repent of my sins has now embraced and endorsed certain sins which have become culturally accepted. The actions of the 2003 General Convention in approving the consecration of a non-celibate homosexual person to be a bishop in the Church, and its approval of a method by which liturgies may be used for same-sex unions in the Church is the presenting issue of a much deeper theological and moral problem within the Church.

While these decisions are clearly in contradiction to the teaching of the Bible, the lessons of Church History and Tradition, and the mind of the world-wide Anglican Communion, they demonstrate a clear obsession with reinterpreting the Scriptures and an amazing disregard to the consequences of their actions on other Christians throughout the world whether Anglican or not.

A revisionist philosophy has overtaken the ethos of the Church which interprets the Scriptures, Church History and Tradition not according to what they actually say, but according to how one is made to feel and in order to be pastorally sensitive. I cannot be apart of such forsaking of Christian teaching and morality.

To remain in the Episcopal Church is on some level affirming the direction the church has taken whether I agree or not. To remain in the Episcopal Church is to pretend that I am not a participant in this abomination before the Lord.

To remain in the Episcopal Church would be to knowingly violate my conscience, and that I cannot do and keep my soul intact. To remain in the Episcopal Church and take communion with those who teach and practice this false teaching would be a clear violation of the Scriptures (For example, 1 Cor.5). Some say that I must stay and fight for reform and change the direction of the Church. This has been my battle cry for the past 24 years.

I have come to the conclusion that the best way to reform it is to leave it and allow the devastation of embracing sin to run its course. I must be about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and teaching the principles of the Word of God. My calling from God is not to lead or participate in an ecclesiastical fight which will evolve to litigation in the secular courts over sacred idols and mammon.

While that may be the call from the Lord for others, my calling is to help people discover the most wonderful gift in the world — a living, dynamic, personal, and saving relationship with Jesus. I cannot do this and be a part of an organizational structure which now at its core denies the very things which I hold dear. The Apostle James wrote that to know the right thing to do and not do it, is sin (James 4:17). For me this is the right thing to do and not to do it would be sin before God.1

Bishop Beach maintains a ministry called A Word from the Lord; the website is here.

In July, 2012, Bishop Beach called for prayer for revival in America:

When a nation turns away from the Lord, the Lord withdraws His very Presence, and the people are “turned over” to the very evil they desire (See Romans 1) inheriting the consequences of such evil. It is as if God says to the nation: “So you don’t want me around, ok. I will withdraw from the affairs of your nation.” And when God is not present, not only is His divine protection removed, but His wisdom, counsel, guidance, and blessing evaporate. Evil prevails. Injustice rules. Wisdom and wise counsel are no where to be found. The innocent suffer.

Our nation and the nations of the world are facing serious issues which have the potential of destroying all that we love and cherish. Politics aside, our whole way of living is hanging in the balance. Economically and socially our nation is at the brink. It is time for the followers of Jesus to wake up, and turn back to the Lord. As important as elections, laws, and public policy are, the root of our nation’s problems is our turning away from the Lord. Only a national repentance and revival will stop the flow of evil and destruction flowing through our land.2

Bishop Beach defined what a bishop does in this article:

  1. Teaching the Word of God, the Bible.
  2. Defending the Christian Faith. We have a faith which has been handed down since the days of the Bible.  The bishop is supposed to guard that Faith.
  3. Evangelist. The bishop leads in proclaiming the Gospel and leading others in to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  4. Apostolic Leadership. Like the apostles of the New Testament, the bishop is called to expand the Kingdom of God to places where the Gospel is not present on a local basis, but also through missions to other parts of the world.
  5. Pastoring.  The bishop pastors not only his own flock, but he is called to pastor the clergy, the other ordained ministers within the diocese.
  6. Sacramental Leadership.  The bishop is the designated person in the Church to ordain men to the ministry, and the bishop is the person to confirm new members in the church.  A bishop is not just ordained for his diocese, but he is ordained as a bishop of the whole Church so he will also participate the consecration of other bishops as well.
  7. Administrative.  The Bishop works with other leaders in the diocese, both clergy and lay persons to oversee the administration of the ministry of the diocese.  The bishop will also serve in the College of Bishops of the Province which meets at least once a year to oversee the ministry of the whole province.

Realities of Enforced Reconciliation in Rwanda

In contrast to a lot of pious-sounding talk about reconciliation in Rwanda, Susan Thomson has just written this article, which should be a must read for someone who really wants to grasp how things work. She says:

The government can seek to impose national unity and reconciliation activities on Rwandans because of the deep structures of authority that characterise the apparatus of the state. In Rwanda, political power is firmly held by those who control the state in a system where sociopolitical domination is commonplace and accepted by ruler and ruled alike. When the power of the state is exercised at the local level, as it currently is through the program of national unity and reconciliation, it takes the form of directives from “on high” (the regime in Kigali) and of strict monitoring of the ability and the willingness to implement government orders effectively and efficiently. RPF-appointed local leaders in turn keep an eye on the activities and speech of individuals within their bailiwick. Local government officials constantly and consistently remind Rwandans of the need to “unify and reconcile” in order to consolidate present and future security. The density of the Rwandan “state” saturates everyday life with its strong administrative, surveillance, and information-gathering systems, resulting in minute individual forms of resistance when confronted with its various practices of control and coercion.[vi] Rwandans from all walks of life—rural and urban, young and old, men and women—are subject to the exercise of power granted to appointed local leaders, and must perform the prescribed rituals of national unity and reconciliation, regardless of their private realities.

How real is reconciliation when it is conducted at the barrel of a gun?

Rutayisire says Kagame is not Autocratic Enough

Pastor Rutayisire with the murderous Kagame

In a 2006 article about Rick Warren’s involvement in Rwanda, Anglican pastor Antoine Rutayisire said that President Paul Kagame might be too democratic. The article says:

“He is not authoritarian to the level I would wish,” says Antoine Rutayisire, a Tutsi African evangelist and vice chairman of the Rwandan government’s Unity and Reconciliation Committee. “When you’re ruling a country that’s coming out of chaos … you don’t go for democracy, you go for autocracy.”

Although it is appalling to see such language coming from Christian clergy, it is at least refreshing to see such honesty about the admiration of Anglican clergy for Kagame’s authoritarianism. This is the case I have been arguing in the face of people who want to believe that the Church is “apolitical.”

This man who wishes there was more autocracy will be in Washington D.C. speaking to Christians about how to reconcile.

More of Radner on Rwanda

Ephraim Radner’s article in First Things is not the first time he has looked at Rwandan Anglicans. Writing for the Anglican Communion Institute in 2009 Radner did an excellent job of laying out the background of conflicts in the DRC and Rwandan problems. He turned to Anglican related issues and said:

The current and often antagonistic disagreements among Anglican churches within the world-wide Anglican Communion has added another layer of confusion into this already difficult field of witness.  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.  But we must not fool ourselves:  the demise of truly catholic order and responsibility in something like the Anglican Communion mirrors the failures of global accountability in the secular world. […]

Let me re-emphasize this sentence:  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. This, in a nutshell, is what PEAR USA is doing, suppressing critical thinking due to ecclesial alliances which allow American bishops and clergy to carry on with whatever Reformation they think they are enacting here in the States, all the while ignoring evil. Radner says:

If Christian churches, like those of the Anglican Communion, cannot get beyond the politics of their own conflicted life, what is left is a church, just like the civil societies in which she moves, that is picked apart, manipulated, ordered by competing personal interests, and drawn ever more deeply into to the pit of complicity with evil. We have seen this happen.

Perhaps – indeed, surely, as the Psalmist writes – one must eventually fall into the pit one digs for another (cf. Ps. 7:15; cf. Prov. 26:27). But in the meantime, others have fallen in as well – too many others; millions of others. The Gospel promises us, through the prophet, a leveling out of the land – a filling in of rough places and of the pits themselves (Is. 40:4; Lk. 3:5), so that, at least, what the evil man contemplates cannot catch another on his or her way. The tentative pause in the eastern Congo’s holocaust can be extended, surely, through the corporate and cooperative determinations of participants. But the Christian churches must get involved in this as well. And to do that, they will need to extricate themselves from the expectations of and collaborations with governments that have already proven they cannot be trusted, and can only be pressured into acts of ostensive justice at best. Writing as an Anglican, this will require a conversion on the part of all of us that goes far beyond the local ecclesial feuds that have ruined our ability to hear the voice of the Lord calling us into His light.

Given what we have seen to date, PEAR USA and GAFCON more broadly will not confront evil until it is much too late. The lesson learned from Thad Barnum’s book “Never Silent” is not applied to contemporary circumstances.

Rucyahana and Mbanda

“The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” Proverbs 18:17

John Rucyahana recruited and raised funds for M23,1 wrote an editorial calling for the secession of provinces in the neighboring DRC,2  denounced Europe at the behest of Paul Kagame,3  is connected to warlord Bosco Ntaganda,4 is connected to shady business deals around the Hotel Ishema5 and is the head of NURC, a position in the Kagame government. Paul Kagame, the Rwandan dictator, confirmed church support for M23,6 a terrorist group that violated all Biblical norms7 in conducting rape, child kidnapping8 and torture in its short existence. But none of these facts has stopped Anglicans from appearing with Rucyahana repeatedly,9 including a new appearance next to current Bishop Laurent Mbanda.

When questioned about Rucyahana’s blatant ties to the Kagame regime, the best that American Anglicans can come up with is to say that Bishop John is no longer in the House of Bishops and has denied any involvement with M23.10 Furthermore, they say that all of his work is done as a private citizen. Hands are thereby washed! As I never tire of pointing out, accepting Rucyahana’s denials on this matter given his public statements and appearances with Kagame is akin to approaching John Edwards about his affair prior to evidence appearing of his fathering a child proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he did in fact have an affair. Had you asked Edwards about an affair (and people did) you would have heard fervent denials. And even that example is weak compared to the evidence we have of Rucyahana’s affection for Kagame,11  and yet Americans are content to take him at his word and leave it alone. I wonder why that is? Whatever the reason, it points to a total failure of critical thinking on the part of American Anglicans.12

Now, I would think that “apolitical” bishops like Mbanda would at least not want to be around Rucyahana in public given his M23 notoriety in United Nations reports – confirmed, I might add, by my own conversations which I cannot reveal in public. But instead, Rucyahana put in an appearance in 2013 at a Couple’s Conference put on by the Anglican Shyira Diocese headed by Bishop Mbanda.

And now, we see this:


Bishops Rucyahana and Mbanda with Rwanda’s first lady during umuganda (see below for an explanation of what umuganda is).

Bishops Rucyahana and Mbanda

The tweet says: “#GlobalUmuganda: Bishops Mbanda, Rucyahana, Min in Presidents office join #Rwandans &Global Citizens in Umuganda”.

Note that it calls Rucyahana a Minister in the President’s office, which is what he is.

My conclusion is that either the political situation in Rwanda prevents Bishop Mbanda from cutting off contact with Rucyahana and denouncing him, or, he in fact has no problem with Rucyahana’s close relationship with President Kagame, as Mbanda himself has called Kagame’s government, “visionary.” Either way, PEAR USA has made its bed with shady characters, and now must lie in it.

A note on umuganda

Penine Uwimbabazi describes umuganda thoroughly in her dissertation, “An Analysis of Umuganda: the Policy and Practice of Community Work in  Rwanda.” She says:

Community work is known as umuganda in Kinyarwanda, the local language spoken throughout  Rwanda. Currently, umuganda is compulsory for everyone and is generally undertaken on the  last Saturday of every month. However, there are informal umuganda activities that are  organised in the middle of the month, either by the government or by civil society  organisations. Consequently, beside the national policy of umuganda the study identifies what  one can call informal umuganda. Umuganda, in general, is currently used as a platform to  implement governmental programmes,

She goes on to say:

Although the current practice of umuganda is certainly different from that of the colonial  period, an elder from Western Province doesn’t see much difference. [She quotes an elder here] He noted:

They [Rwandans] asked for independence but they did not know  what they were doing because if you look closely, you find that  colonial masters have gone nowhere. They have chased them but  they have not gone. They have left every single side of their mind  and behaviour. I mean in the early days, umuganda was for the community self-solving its problems but now it is for solving  political problems” (EL 9-b 22 Dec 2010).

The current practice of umuganda does not compel people to work on tea or coffee plantations  but they are, in effect, ‘forced’, for example, to build additional classrooms and to build and  maintain roads.

Filip Reyntjens says: “umuganda…is an indirect but effective taxing system.”

And Susan Thomson shows how umuganda works for Rwanda’s poorest:

Some men in their late forties and early fifties who participated in my research reported that the poorest of the poor “had to report for umuganda at least one or two days a week or suffer imprisonment of worse” (interviews 2006). They also told me that as the poorest of the poor had to report more frequently in those days because the authorities told them, “Since you don’t work for money, you will come work for the state and we will feed your families.”…When local officials actually delivered food to families as promised, it was “usually rotten or infested” (interviews 2006).

  1. “Another similar M23 meeting with Rwandan authorities took place on 26 May 2012 in Ruhengeri, Rwanda, at Hotel Ishema. According to intelligence sources and to politicians with close ties to Kigali, the RDF organized the meeting for CNDP politicians, which was chaired by Bishops John Rucyahana and Coline (sic – should read Kolini), both senior RPF party leaders. The aim of the meeting was to convey the message that the Rwandan Government supports M23 politically and militarily. All Rwandophone politicians and officers were instructed to join M23, or otherwise leave the Kivus.” “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.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. Rucyahana Again Tied To M23. “A former Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) member, two former RDF officers and a politician loyal to Ntaganda, told the Group that Bishop John Rucyahana, a Ntaganda ally in Rwanda who recruited politicians and raised funds for M23, had to stop his collaboration. The Group has sought clarification from the Government of Rwanda on the matter and is awaiting a response.” 
  2. Missing Rucyahana Article
  3. John Rucyahana And Rose Kabuye
  4. Rucyahana and Bosco: The Bagogwe Connection
  5. The Actions of John Rucyahana In Rwanda and  Reflections on The Latest John Rucyahana Post
  6. Did Paul Kagame Just Admit Rucyahana’s Support for M23? “He acknowledged that some Rwandan churches have been sending money to Congolese rebels, as part of a Tutsi self-protection campaign.”  
  7. M23 Burying People Alive
  8. M23 Still Recruiting Children From Rwanda
  9. M23 Supporter Rucyahana At Archbishop Stanley Ntagali’s Enthronement
  10. Denials which the UN itself addressed: “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. 
  11. Bishop Rucyahana On Paul Kagame’s Presidential Advisory Council
  12. Exhibit A

The One Egg Charity

I mentioned One Egg to a Rwandan I was speaking with one day. One Egg is a 501c3 organization that aims to provide children in Rwanda with eggs for their development. The individual I spoke with said:

The “One Egg” program is a serious mockery and…I don’t even know [what] to call it…why stop people from growing their own plants…from farming …take away their lands and then pretend to feed them?

What was he talking about? Probably things like the Rwandan State’s heavy handed agriculture policies:

The government’s prime concern seems to be to demonstrate to donors that sustained economic growth based on agriculture and services is possible in a country devoid of strategic resources. Each order of government is being pressured by the one above to achieve specific results in terms of agricultural production. Leaders of cooperatives are, in turn, being told to meet specific targets and, basically, to get with the new program – or they may be out of a job. Indeed, recalcitrant cooperative administrators have been replaced in several cases by more pliable individuals.

At the lowest level, independent small farmers have been forced into cooperatives as a means of ensuring that their farming activities comply with the program. In Cyuve, Musanze district, local officials ordered all crops other than maize to be pulled up after the region was assigned to grow maize at the start of 2009.

A leader of the I.A.B.M. cooperative in Gitarama told how thousands of co-op members were forced to switch to growing maize and soybean seed: “The authorities wanted us to become commercial seed growers, but the women of the cooperatives wanted to keep growing sweet potatoes, cabbage, and other vegetables in the marshes. They wouldn’t back down and the authorities wound up sending in the army to pull up our crops.”

Strategic crops are identified for each administrative district: maize, rice, and manioc in the Southeast; potatoes, wheat, and maize in the north; flowers in Kigali province, and so forth. CIP participants, volunteer or conscripted, must comply with the Ministry of Agriculture’s program. They are told which crops to plant, forbidden from intercropping, and forced to practice monoculture in sync with their neighbours.1

Or perhaps he was thinking of things like this:

Under the pretense of pursuing infiltrated rebels, the RPF ordered, as of 1998, that all banana plantations be cut down, mostly in the northern and central regions of Rwanda. A disasrous measure for rwandan peasants, who use the banana plant in multiple ways. They eat its fruit, which is also used to produce juice or wine. Banana leaves are used to cover rooftops as well as to feed cattle. Banana trees can reproduce at any time of the year and are resistant to sudden climate changes. In Rwanda, the banana tree has historically been a life-saving crop during famines.

RPF ideologists keep coming up with new ways to further advance this criminal policy. From 1997 to the year 2000, they introduced a policy of relocating the population into villages. With help of the “Local Defense Militia”, the regime forced peasants to destroy their own homes, often brick houses with corrugated iron or tile rooftops, before sending them to go sleep outside in unhealthy, until then not inhabitated places. It took a firm intervention from donor countries to make Rwanda put an end to that policy.

Then in 2004, the Land Reform Decree was issued. That law wreaked havoc. It allowed haphazard land distribution, made it illegal to live near a lake or a big river, made it possible for the state to expropriate people with no compensation-or such a small one that the relocated people would not be able to pay for new lodgings. In the Eastern Province, peasants were simply chased away or killed and big dignitaries of the regime took over their land. Over twenty senior members of the RPF party, military brass, businessmen and such, owned an average of over 600 ha each, while the average Rwandan peasant owns 0,6 ha of land. Again it took a foreign donors’ outcry to make President Kagame go in the countryside in july 2007 to redistribute land.

Taking advantage of the interest the world shows today for environmental issues, the RPF made it illegal in Rwanda to fell a tree on one’s property, to bake bricks or tiles on one’s own farm,…as a consequence of this, peasants are left with the option of spending the little money they have on firewood and moving into straw huts.

In other words, the Rwandan government creates the same crises that these charities purport to be fighting.

Taiga Meibun

Writing about the thinking of a defeated Hirohito post World War II, David Bergamini says:

Hirohito had always minimized the danger of democratic sentiments taking hold in Japan. He felt that the Anglo-American type of government was too individualistic to be compatible with Japanese society. In a democracy each voter needed a conscience of his own and an absolute scale of right and wrong. But in Japan these prerequisites did not exist. Every act, from casting a ballot to committing a murder, could be right or wrong depending on whether or not it was in the interest of the family or clan or nation. The highest justification which any Japanese ever sought for an action was taiga meibun, “individual share in large righteousness.” And for many Japanese the largest conceivable righteousness was mere feudal loyalty—loyalty to the next man higher on the totem pole. During the early years of his reign, Hirohito had made a point of impressing on every man to whom he gave an office or assignment that taiga meibun meant sharing in national rather than clan or family righteousness. The idea of an individual striving to transcend the morality of his group by reference to a universal frame of reference struck Hirohito as a Western hypocrisy. Individualism, he felt, could only lead to misery and bad government.