Republic of Rwanda
World Convention is currently building a global reference for the countries and territories where we know there are Christian – Churches of Christ – Disciples of Christ Congregations. Of the 193 United Nations States, the Stone-Campbell Movement exists in 174. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 195 countries where there is at least one representation of our churches.
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The central African country of Rwanda is a small landlocked country surrounded by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda covers and area of more than 26,000 sq km (10,000 sq miles) and has a population nearing 9 million people. Among the earliest people in the area were the Twa Pygmies, who were displaced by the Hutus who began migrating into the country in the eleventh century. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the Tutsi people began to migrate to the area from northeastern Africa, present-day Sudan, and the Hutus lost their primary position. In the nineteenth century Germany laid claim to the area but lost control to Belgium following Word War 1. Independence from Belgium came in 1962. Late in the twentieth century hostilities between the two historic tribes reached new levels. In 1994 a million Tutsis and Hutus were killed and three million fled to refugee camps in neighboring states. Presently the Republic is governed by a transitional legislative body known as the National Assembly.
Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa and a high percentage of the land is arable thus agriculture accounts for 93% of the country’s economic base. In earlier times tea and coffee constituted as much as 90% of the total exports. Cassava, maize, bananas, sorghum and vegetables are grown for food. Over use of land and deforestation of the land are problems. With the tribal warfare the economy suffered and infrastructure deteriorated.
Traditional religions are practiced by about a quarter of the people and include belief in a supreme being or spirit. Ancestors are remembered through sacrifices. Christianity is practiced by nearly three quarters of the population, the majority of these (65%) being Roman Catholic. A small minority are Muslim.
Dave and Jana Jenkins established a Church of Christ in Kigali in 2006. The property is also home to the Kigali International community school, with 45 students from nine countries and a lengthy waiting list, offers a faith-based curriculum and operates in partnership with several non-governmental organizations and ministries in Rwanda.
Other relief organizations and individuals are known to have given short-term aid in Rwanda during the 1990s.
Kigali International Church of Christ is associated with the International Churches of Christ.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
Revised by Gary Holloway, August 10, 2017
For further historical reference:
Churches of Christ Around the World, Lynn, Mac, 21st Century Christian Publications, Nashville, TN, 2003.
Dave and Jana Jenkins
For online directories of a cappella Churches of Christ see: