Whose Justice? Which Democracy? Justice, Reconciliation and Democracy in Post-Genocide Rwanda—Challenges to Public Theology

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Christine Schliesser Institute for Social Ethics, Zurich University Switzerland Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation, Stellenbosch University South Africa

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How can a public theology advance the task of democracy in order to bring forth justice for all? This article focuses on post-genocide Rwanda as a current example of a country’s quest for justice, reconciliation and democratization after severe violent conflict. The first part traces the historical background of the Rwandan genocide with specific attention on the lack of just and democratic structures in pre-genocide Rwanda and the roles of the Christian churches therein. The second part explores the Christian churches’ involvement in the country’s current reconciliation process. Here, the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR) serves as a case study. The third part critically assesses the churches’ contribution to reconciliation with regards to how it serves to enhance—or hinder—the implementation of just and democratic structures.

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