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Rwanda Before the GenocideCatholic Politics and Ethnic Discourse in the Late Colonial Era$
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J.J. Carney

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199982271

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982271.001.0001

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The Catholic Church and Postcolonial Ethnic Violence

The Catholic Church and Postcolonial Ethnic Violence

(p.175) 6 The Catholic Church and Postcolonial Ethnic Violence
Rwanda Before the Genocide

J. J. Carney

Oxford University Press

The sixth chapter considers Catholic hierarchical responses to government-orchestrated, anti-Tutsi violence in 1963–1964, 1973, and 1994. After a failed coup attempt by UNAR exiles in December 1963, Rwanda’s Parmehutu government executed a score of prominent Tutsi political opponents and orchestrated the massacre of thousands of Tutsi civilians in the Gikongoro region of southern Rwanda. Led by Perraudin, Catholic leaders denounced the violence but failed to hold the government responsible for its crimes. Anti-Tutsi violence broke out in Rwandan Catholic schools, universities, and seminaries in early 1973. Again, Catholic leaders condemned the violence but failed to take subsequent steps to distance themselves from the government or address ethnic violence as a challenge for the church. The chapter concludes by considering key political and ecclesial developments in the years leading up to the 1994 genocide, putting these events in comparative context with the earlier history.

Keywords:   Gikongoro, Hutu, Tutsi, Perraudin, 1964, 1973, 1994, genocide, violence

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