Church Politics and the Genocide in Rwanda

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
Timothy Longman Vassar College

Search for other papers by Timothy Longman in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



Christian churches were deeply implicated in the 1994 genocide of ethnic Tutsi in Rwanda. Churches were a major site for massacres, and many Christians participated in the slaughter, including church personnel and lay leaders. Church involvement in the genocide can be explained in part because of the historic link between church and state and the acceptance of ethnic discrimination among church officials. In addition, just as political officials chose genocide as a means of reasserting their authority in the face of challenges from a democracy movement and civil war, struggles over power within Rwanda's Christian churches led some church leaders to accept the genocide as a means of eliminating challenges to their own authority within the churches.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 2565 466 35
Full Text Views 616 89 14
PDF Views & Downloads 810 154 24