Republic of Rwanda
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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.
In 1990 a small a cappella Churches of Christ congregation was known to exist in the Kigali Prefecture but with the outbreak of hostilities in 1994 current status of that congregation is unknown. Other relief organizations and individuals are known to have given short-term aid in Rwanda during the 1990s.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
For further historical reference:
Churches of Christ Around the World, Lynn, Mac, 21st Century Christian Publications, Nashville, TN, 2003.
BP 1317 Kigali, Rwanda
Mbarute N. Thassien
Dave and Jana Jenkins
For online directories of a cappella Churches of Christ see: