Monday July 10, 2000
Lewis’ Rwanda Report Blames Christian Church For Genocide
UNITED NATIONS, July 10 (LSN.ca) – A 296-page report on the 1994 Rwandan genocide commissioned by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and prepared by a seven-member panel, confirms that the United Nations, the United States, France and Belgium were culpable in the holocaust. The report however also says that “within Rwanda itself, those with the heaviest responsibility were the Catholic and Anglican hierarchies and the French government.” The comments about the knowledge possessed by the UN Security Council and major governments about the impending massacre and their ability to prevent it simply confirm information that has already been made public. The charges against the churches, however, are highly suspect.
The report claims that “Church leaders failed to use their unique moral position among the overwhelmingly Christian population to denounce ethnic hatred and human rights abuse.” However, evidence that the massacre of Tutsis had a significant anti-Christian component to it raises suspicions about this claim. The Hutu violence involved the slaughtering of many thousands of Tutsis within their own churches. Christian missionary Peter Hammond, who has served throughout Africa since the early 1980s notes that “the holocaust in Rwanda has been widely reported, however, the anti-Christian aspect of the Hutu mass murder seems to have been generally ignored. So too has the influence of witchcraft, Marxism and Islam in fomenting this Hutu hatred against the Tutsi Christians.
Hammond, the director of the Christian missionary organization Frontline Fellowship, comments on Rwanda in a video produced several years ago called “Evangelising in the War Zones.” He notes that “What has not been reported is that many of the massacres that took place in Rwanda were targeted at Christians. One denomination lost 280 ministers; another denomination lost 80 ministers.” Hammond says that “For the first weeks of the holocaust in Rwanda, as half a million Tutsi Christians were massacred by the Hutu government, the international community did absolutely nothing.”
‘Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide,’ was presented at the UN by one of the panel’s members, Ambassador Stephen Lewis of Canada. Lewis quoted from the report saying that since the genocide many parties had apologized but “no apology has yet come from the French government or the Catholic church.” The report claims that “In the colonial era, under German and then Belgian rule, Roman Catholic missionaries, inspired by the overtly racist theories of 19th century Europe, concocted a destructive ideology of ethnic cleavage and racial ranking that attributed superior qualities to the country’s Tutsi minority,” charges which historians note are spurious since they apply also to the colonization of Canada and its native population. Anti-Catholic sentiment is evident as the report says, “since the missionaries ran the colonial-era schools, these pernicious values were systematically transmitted to several generations of Rwandans, along with more conventional Catholic teachings.”
The anti-Catholic bias in the report may be due in part to Lewis, one of the seven panel members. Lewis’ anti-Catholic position is well-documented. Prior to the passage of the Omnibus Bill in 1969, which legalized abortion in Canada, Lewis was an outspoken abortion promoter. As Ontario leader of the socialist New Democratic Party he influenced the party to a hard line on abortion, stifling all pro-life protest. Moreover, while Lewis was executive director of UNICEF, the Vatican pulled its funding from the UN Children’s Fund for promoting abortion. Lewis’ wife is Toronto Star columnist Michele Landsberg, an extremely outspoken critic of orthodox Christianity.
The Rwanda Report is available online at:
For background on the Rwanda genocide see: