Why is that important today? Well, there are at least two reasons.
1. Pray for Rwanda
This season each year is a difficult time of reflection for Rwandans. The best way for me to begin to understand what is experienced during April each year is to think about my Dad. There are events, like writing these sentences, which bring deep emotions to the surface. So, what do Rwandans experience during this twentieth anniversary? Pray for our brothers and sisters in Rwanda during these difficult days.
April 3, 1994 was Easter Sunday. Four days later the genocide began. On Sunday Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus alongside other believers. On Thursday these same Christians were killing their brothers and sisters in Christ. The 1993 edition of Operation World: The Day-by-Day Guide To Praying For the World says eighty per cent of Rwandans were Christian in 1993. Some insist that number is higher. Christians began killing other Christians they had worshipped with just five days earlier? How is this even possible?
Perhaps the best answer is found in Mirror to the Church: Resurrecting Faith after the Genocide in Rwanda. “Blood is thicker than water.” In the case of the Rwandan genocide, the blood running through the veins of Rwandans was more important than the waters of baptism that united two Rwandans in Christ.
If this was true in Rwanda, what is true about Christians in other places of the world like the United States? Are there things more important to me/us than our relationships in Jesus and His family? I am afraid that far too often the answer is “Yes!”
2. Pray for the Church
What was true for the Church in Rwanda twenty years ago is relevant for us today. In the United States today there are many who have said yes to Jesus, but have other allegiances that demote the Lordship of Christ in their lives. During this anniversary of the genocide, it is not just Rwandans who need prayer. Pray for God’s family that our highest allegiance will be to Him and His Church.