Rwanda Shima Imana, attracts 34 countries
This year’s Rwanda thanks giving ceremony has attracted participants from over 30 African countries and beyond, according to renown American evangelist, Pastor Rick Warren.
During a news conference in Kigali yesterday, Pastor Warren said : “I am bringing with me over 100 international church leaders from 30 African countries, including other leaders from China, Russia, America, and India,” Warren said.
Rwanda Shima Imana, a National Christian Thanksgiving Day was inaugurated in 2012, by Peace Plan, a brainchild of Pastor Warren, with a presence in most Christian churches in Rwanda.
It is a day when believers come together to thank God for the progress made in the country and the Church so far.
The 3rd annual Thanksgiving crusade is due this Sunday August 17, at the Amahoro stadium.
Warren, also a member of Rwanda Presidential Advisory Council, is the initiator of Peace Plan movement across the world.
He said his wish is to make Rwanda Shima Imana a public holiday, just as it is in some other countries, including the US, Japan, and the Netherlands.
“It is my prayer that this day becomes a national holiday just as it is in some parts of the world,” he said.
“Twenty years after the Genocide, we are now a new Rwanda. We have seen the country develop and have nothing to hold against God, other than celebrating what He has done for our country,” he added.
Speaking about the current Middle East conflict, Warren urged countries to draw lessons from Rwanda which he believes is a living example in fostering unity and reconciliation.
“The Middle East countries should emulate Rwanda. If the world wants to find peace and reconciliation then we can use Rwanda as a case study. The country has reconciled in the shortest possible time (after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed over 1 million people), and rebuilt itself to what it is today,” Warren added.
This year’s theme is ; “A new legacy” derived from a scripture in the book of Isaiah 61:4 that states : “They shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall rise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.”
The Thanksgiving ceremony comes days after Rwandan clerics acknowledged blame for past transgressions of some clerics in Rwanda’s history that was summed up in what was called : “The Musanze Declaration.”
The Declaration reveals both the good and shocking roles of the Church in the country’s history.
It indicated what church leaders decided to work on in a bid to create “a new desired legacy”, by meditating on the past, learning from history, condemning the dreadful acts committed in the past and repair what is possible to fix.
Source : The NewTimes