This weekend I was privileged to view the Tennessee premiere of Rwanda Rising. This is a film by Ambassador Andrew Young that showcases some of the positive things going on in that war-torn country since the 1994 genocide.
Although the film gave much to be optimistic about regarding the country’s future--the industrious and entrepreneurial spirit of the people, rich natural resources, hard line on government corruption, etc.--I was unsettled that the “problem” of population control came up no less than three times, not from Rwandan spokespersons, mind you, but from the US ones, including former President Bill Clinton.
It occurred to me that wouldn’t it be tragic if Rwanda emerged from one genocide, only to fall victim to another—that of the unborn.
I was also struck by the bewilderment expressed, again, by the US spokepersons, on the phenomenal strides toward reconciliation. Glaringly absent was any mention of what role the Church or the Christian message may have played in this miraculous development. Ambassador Young, who was present at the premier, seemed absolutely baffled how victims and perpetrators could live and work together as they are. Notably, Young is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ--a fact that he took some pride in mentioning several times in the brief Q&A after the showing.
The former President wistfully wondered how the healing in Rwanda could be imported to other strife-afflicted regions like the former Czech Republic and Middle East.
Had Messrs. Young and Clinton approached Rwandan Bishop John Rucyahana, they may have gotten some very good answers to their questions.
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